A burglary that occurred at a Davie bird store in Feb. 2021 left the owners facing the loss of 157 birds valued at more than $75,000. The Davie Police Department reported that the burglar entered the store by cutting a hole in the roof sometime overnight between Monday, Feb. 22 and Tuesday, Feb. 23. He or she stole 70 sun conures, 60 green-cheeked conures, 20 cockatiels, five quaker parrots, a Jardine parrot, and a female Eclectus. For this type of incident, several crimes might be charged, depending on the circumstances. People who are charged with these types of offenses might want to retain a Davie criminal defense attorney at Hassett & Associates for help with defending against the allegations against them.
Under §812.014, Fla. Stat. (2020), a person can be charged with criminal theft when he or she knowingly takes, uses, or tries to take or use someone else’s property while intending to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner of the property. When the property is valued at more than $20,000 but less than $100,000, the theft is classified as grand theft in the second degree, which is a second-degree felony in Florida. If a person is convicted of grand theft in the second degree, he or she will face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. In this case, the prosecutor would have to prove the elements of second-degree grand theft beyond a reasonable doubt before the jury or court could return a guilty verdict.
Many cases involving the theft of animals will also include some inhumane treatment and cruelty towards the animals. If the burglar treated the birds with cruelty, he or she might also be charged with animal cruelty under §828.12, Fla. Stat. (2020). The penalties for animal cruelty depend on the severity of the abuse and the defendant’s criminal record. If any aggravating factors are present, the person can be charged with aggravated animal cruelty.
Animal cruelty is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida and can be charged when animals are tormented, overloaded, overdriven, deprived of shelter, water, or food, or are cruelly killed or mutilated. A conviction for animal cruelty carries up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. If a defendant is convicted of aggravated animal cruelty, he or she will face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Aggravated animal cruelty is a third-degree felony in Florida.
Unlawful Confinement of Animals
Depending on how the burglar confined the birds after stealing them, he or she could also face charges for unlawful confinement of animals under §828.13, Fla. Stat. (2020). Under this statute, a person can be charged with unlawfully confining animals if he or she confines animals in a place without providing them with enough food, water, or opportunity to exercise. This offense is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
Get Help from Davie Criminal Lawyer Kenneth Hassett
If you are facing charges of grand theft, animal cruelty, or unlawful confinement of an animal, it is critical for you to retain an experienced Davie criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Kenneth Hassett with the law firm of Hassett & Associates has nearly 30 years of experience defending people against all types of criminal allegations. Contact a Davie criminal lawyer at Hassett & Associates today at (954) 791-3939.