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A Las Vegas Animal Cruelty Conviction Can Result in Significant Jail Time

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jul 21, 2016 | 0 Comments

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If you abuse or mistreat an animal in Las Vegas, be prepared to go to jail. Nevada animal cruelty laws make it clear that abuse, mistreatment, or neglect of animals in the state are treated very seriously. The consequences of a conviction for an offense involving animal cruelty in Las Vegas can include significant jail time, loss of your pet, fines, and a stain on your reputation that can be hard to wash away.

NRS 574.100 is Nevada's primary "animal abuse" statute. The penalties for a conviction depend on whether it is for a first or subsequent offense, as well as the nature and severity of the cruelty involved or harm done to the animal. Unsurprisingly, the consequences are more severe for repeat offenders and for those whose acts result in an animal's serious injury or death. 

  • First Offense. A first offense of animal cruelty within the preceding 7 years is prosecuted as a misdemeanor in Nevada. The penalties if convicted include:
  • 2 days to 6 months in a county jail,
  • 48 to 120 hours of community service,
  • $200 to $1,000 in fines, and
  • restitution for the costs of caring for and impounding any mistreated animal including money for veterinary treatment, food, and housing.
  • Second Offense. A second conviction for animal cruelty within a 7-year period is also a Nevada misdemeanor, but carries increased minimum penalties which include:
  • 10 days to 6 months in a county jail),
  • 100 hours to 200 hours of community service,
  • $500 to $1,000 in fines, and
  • restitution for the costs of caring for and impounding any mistreated animal including money for veterinary treatment, food, and housing.
  • Third Offense. If you've been convicted twice for animal cruelty, a third or subsequent charge within a 7-year span will be prosecuted as a category C felony in Nevada.  Punishment can include:
  • 1 to 5 years in Nevada state prison,
  • up to $10,000 in fines, and
  • restitution for the costs of caring for and impounding any mistreated animal including money for veterinary treatment, food, and housing.

In addition to NRS 574.100, Nevada has a number of other statutes that address specific acts of cruelty or other prohibited conduct involving animals, such as poisoning or dogfighting and cockfighting (including training animals or watching a fight). These offenses range from Nevada gross misdemeanors to serious Nevada felonies and come with severe penalties upon conviction.

If you've been arrested and charged with a Las Vegas animal cruelty offense, it is important to retain a skilled Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Please give us a call today so we can discuss your situation and explore your options. (See our article, "5 Animals that are Illegal Pets in Nevada." For California law, read our articles, "What is Animal Abuse in California?" and "Will I go to jail for an animal abuse charge in California?")

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About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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