Animal cruelty is a criminally prosecuted offense in Utah. Animal rights are protected by various state and federal laws. Any person found to be in violation of these laws – exhibiting cruelty to animals physically or psychologically – can face serious penalties.
Active Cruelty vs. Passive Cruelty
The Utah laws distinguish between active and passive cruelty to animals:
- Active Cruelty: Involves the malicious intent to harm an animal. Can include such actions such as beating an animal, using a whip or chain to hit an animal, throwing an animal from a vehicle, shooting an animal, or otherwise inflicting bodily injury.
- Passive Cruelty: Involves non-violent acts which can harm an animal, such as food or water deprivation, failure to provide appropriate care for sickness or injury, and other forms of neglect.
Active cruelty is a higher degree offense subject to harsher consequences. However, a conviction for either category can result in serious penalties in Salt Lake City, Utah. The government is under pressure by animal rights groups and other interested parties to enforce harsh penalties in such cases.
If you are facing charges of animal cruelty, animal abuse, dog fighting or a similar crime, seek representation from a defense attorney who understands the charges and how to build a solid, effective defense. I am attorney Daniel Matern and I have more than 25 years of experience defending people charged with serious offenses. I am skilled at minimizing penalties, negotiating plea agreements, and advocating for clients’ rights at trial.