Felony Animal Cruelty: Hurting or Killing an Animal
This article addresses the law relating to hurting an animal in some way under MCL 750.50b. There is also another law related to neglecting and abusing an animal in one’s own care. You can read the blog post on that animal cruelty law here.
An animal is defined as a vertebrate other than a human being.
A person may not do one of the following;
- Knowingly kill, torture, mutilate, maim, or disfigure an animal.
- Commit a reckless act knowing or having reason to know that the act will cause an animal to be killed, tortured, mutilated, maimed, or disfigured.
- Knowingly poison or knowingly expose an animal to a poisonous substance, with the intent that the animal consume the substance.
A violation of this law is a felony, punishable by up to;
- 4 years in prison
- $5,000.00 for 1 animal, and an additional $2,500.00 for each additional animal, up to $20,000.00
- 500 hours of community service
Special Terms of Probation and Punishment
The defendant may be ordered to pay the costs of prosecution, as well as the costs of care, housing, and veterinary medical care for the impacted animal.
If the court does not order the defendant to pay full costs, it must explain on the record why it chose to have the defendant pay only partial costs or no costs.
Probation can include psychiatric or psychological assessment, screening, and treatment at defendant’s expense.
The court may order the defendant to not own or possess an animal for any period of time, including lifetime relinquishment of the right to possess animals.
A person who possesses an animal in violation of this court order may be subject to probation revocation or civil and criminal contempt. Contempt of court under this law is punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both. MCL 750.50b
What This Law Does Not Apply To
This animal cruelty law does not apply to licensed or regulated fishing, hunting, zoos, scientific research, and pest or rodent control.
Sam Bernstein is an Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Lawyer.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
Criminal Defense Lawyer in Ypsilanti
Our focus at ArborYpsi Law is on criminal defense of individuals charged with crimes by the government. Everyday we represent real people just like you in fights for their freedom, reputation, and livelihood. You do not need to explain what’s at stake in your case – we understand before you step foot in the door. This is what we do all day, every day, in courts throughout Washtenaw County and metro Detroit. Call us to see how we can help.
Read Some of Our Posts on Criminal Defense Issues
- Criminal Defense in Romulus
- Steps In A DWI Case
- How Can I Help My Attorney?
- What To Do When Pulled Over For a DUI
Call 734-883-9584 to speak with a Criminal Lawyer and get help with your case
“To be an effective criminal defense counsel, an attorney must be prepared to be demanding, outrageous, irreverent, blasphemous, a rogue, a renegade and a hated, isolated and lonely person – few love a spokesman for the despised and the damned.” -Clarence Darrow, the greatest criminal defense attorney of them all.