What can I expect regarding a court appearance for a petty criminal offense for leaving dogs in a vehicle?

Ireceived a citation for leaving my dogs unattented in a vehicle. When I called the court to find out the amount of my fine, she said it was mandatory court appearance because it was a criminal charge petty was marked on the ticket. She scared me, telling me I could plead guilty/not guilty, may have a plea bargain, etc. What should I expect when I go? Never had to appear in court before.

Asked on July 16, 2012 under Criminal Law, Arizona


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This is considered a misdemeanor in most states and the charge will more than likely be animal abuse or endangerment. You will most likely not be given any jail time, but you may be ordered to pay and fine, court costs and even probation. Because this is still considered a criminal offense, I would advise you to speak with a criminal defense attorney in your area to possibly represent you in court to avoid a criminal conviction for this offense.

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