What to do if I’ve been recently charged with a misdemeanor for animal cruelty?

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What to do if I’ve been recently charged with a misdemeanor for animal cruelty?

Law enforcement came to my home saying the neighbors saw me deliberately shoot at my dog with a plastic airsoft gun, I admit to shooting at can targets however I did not deliberately aim and fire at my pet. When they observed my dog, there was an injury on his left side that indeed looks to be a bb wound. As I kept denying to the officer that I shot him, he said there was enough evidence gathered that he would bring me to Juvenal hall if I had not admitted to my actions. Not knowing how the animal could have been injured, I had no choice but to say I done so to avoid being sent to prison even though I know for a fact I did not do it. What is the best outcome if I’m a minor?

Asked on May 8, 2013 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Talk with your parents and hire an attorney.  If you feel that the police in any way pressured you in to saying you injured the dog - known as coercion - which saying they would send you to juvie sounds like, then that "confession" should be thrown out.  Do not take this charge lightly.  Get help. 


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