Animal Cruelty

Animal Cruelty Charges in South Carolina

If you are charged with animal cruelty charges, it is important to contact a Criminal Defense attorney at the Strom Law Firm as soon as possible. Only with the help of experienced lawyers can you effectively navigate the criminal justice system to guarantee defense of your rights.

The criminal justice system is a complex organization that our attorneys have experience navigating. For decades, we have developed a deep understanding of the court system and a typical prosecution that benefits our clients. As soon as we are brought onto a case, the legal team at Strom Law Firm will dig in to develop a detailed strategy for defending your rights.Gavel and Book

Our attorneys regularly visit the various correctional facilities throughout South Carolina. We have extensive experience working with and visiting these types of facilities. Our attorneys work most frequently with the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, located at 201 John Mark Dial Dr, Columbia, SC 29209, and at the Lexington County Detention Center, located at 521 Gibson Rd., Lexington, SC 29072. Attorneys from the Strom Law Firm will travel to wherever you are located and have extensive experience operating in South Carolina and Georgia.

Law enforcement agencies who arrest for criminal charges may come from any one of various agencies. Any law enforcement agency may make an arrest and file criminal charges. In South Carolina, there are many law enforcement agencies that you may encounter, including SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division), South Carolina Highway Patrol, county agencies, and various city/town agencies. Once any of these agencies makes an arrest, the alleged offender will be taken to one of any number of detention centers or police stations, depending on which agency is making the arrest. Our attorneys have extensive experience throughout South Carolina and Georgia, and have traveled to many of these detention centers.

It is imperative that any person charged with a crime contact the Strom Law Firm immediately or as soon as possible after arrest. Involving attorneys such as those at the Strom Law Firm as early as possible is crucial for the defense of a criminal case.

Defending Cruelty to Animals or Animal Fighting and Baiting Criminal Charges in Columbia, South Carolina

Animal fighting is the act of training animals to fight, usually to the death, for the purposes of entertainment. Frequently, this activity is linked to illegal money-making and gambling.  Several “animal cruelty” laws are designed to protect domesticated pets, stray animals, wild animals and farmed animals.

Until the 19th century, blood sports like bull baiting, bear baying, and cock fighting were common. In the middle of the 19th century, reform movements, which started in England, lobbied for animal welfare laws. These laws dictated animals were entitled to a certain level of care and treatment, and animal cruelty slowly became illegal in most developed countries.

Animal Cruelty Charges in South Carolina

According to South Carolina law Section 47-1-40, cruelty to animals can be defined as maliciously and intentionally maiming, wounding, torturing, mutilating a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally killing an animal.

Intentional and Negligent Mistreatment of Animals

There are two basic types of animal cruelty, the intentional mistreatment of animals and the negligent mistreatment of animals.

Intentionally inflicted cruelty to animals is generally considered violent and deliberate animal abuse, for example:

Negligent cruelty to animals is failing to provide adequate care, for example:

  • Failing to treat a pet’s wounds or illness
  • Failing to provide water or food
  • Failing to providing sanitary living conditions
  • Failing to provide adequate shelter

Penalties for Cruelty to Animals in South Carolina

Depending on whether your action or inaction was negligent or malicious in nature, you could be found guilty of a felony or a misdemeanor.

  • Felony: Jail sentence minimum of 188 days and a max of 5 years, and $5,000 fine.
  • Misdemeanor (first offense): Jail sentence max 90 days, or a fine of minimum $100 or maximum $1,000, or both.
  • Misdemeanor (second and subsequent offense): Jail sentence max 2 years, or a fine of $2,000, or both.

Animal Fighting and Baiting Charges in South Carolina

Dog fighting is now illegal in all 50 states. The federal government also prohibits dog fighting, when the illegal activity occurs over state lines.  While dog fighting is often covered under laws against animal cruelty, it has garnered more attention due to its violent and brutal nature.

Animal cruelty is the most apparent negative aspect of dog fighting, but it is also linked to organized crime and other illegal activities.

According to South Carolina law Section 16-27-30, animal fighting and baiting is defined as any person who: owns an animal for the purpose of fighting or baiting, participates or causes any fighting or baiting of an animal, obtains by any means any structure to be used for the purpose of fighting or baiting any animal, allowing or permitting access to any structure with knowledge that it would be used for the purpose of fighting or baiting any animal.

Penalties for Animal Fighting and Baiting

A person convicted of animal fighting or baiting is guilty of a felony and upon conviction is fined $5,000, or faces a 5 year jail sentence, or both.

You can be charged with animal fighting and baiting if it occurred on your property or if you were even in attendance, even if you had no direct involvement. Dog fighting and other forms of animal fighting can sometimes be pursued in federal court.  The consequences of dog fighting as a federal crime are typically much more severe than a South Carolina charge for the same crime. Give us a call today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800

Winnsboro, South Carolina

Winnsboro, SC, located just outside of Columbia, SC, is the county seat of Fairfield County. Located in the midlands but near the upstate, Winnsboro calls itself “A Town for All Time.” Also located in Fairfield County are two lakes: Wateree and Monticello. Over 11,000 acres of the Sumter National Forest is also located in Fairfield.

Thanks to its central location, Winnsboro is often utilized by travelers. These travelers frequently utilize I-77, which runs straight through Winnsboro.

There are several famous landmarks in Winnsboro. Laura’s Tea Room, located in the same building as the historic Thomas Company, hosts visitors and residents alike for high tea and is a popular tourist attraction. The Winnsboro Town Clock, which has run continuously for 100 years, is located in the town market and is now used as a community gathering space, polling location, and Chamber of Commerce. Winnsboro also hosts the SC Railroad Museum, possible the largest attraction in Fairfield County and a testament to the history of the county, originally a railroad town. Tall Red Building

A charge you may face in Winnsboro is Boating Under the Influence. BUI is very similar to DUI. The Lake Wateree State Park is an access area commonly used for recreational activities.

The Fairfield County Courthouse, located in downtown Winnsboro, is an iconic landmark designed in Greek Revival Style. The courthouse was built in 1823 and still operates as the active courthouse in Fairfield County today.

Most offenders in Winnsboro are housed at the Fairfield County Detention Center. Police in the area include the Fairfield County Sheriff and SC Highway Patrol. Depending on the agency making the arrest, detained individuals may be taken to any of a variety of detention centers before a bond hearing.

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