Animal Cruelty, N.J.S.A. 4:22-17

Animal Cruelty, N.J.S.A. 4:22-17, New Jersey, NJ, Cumberland County, Bridgeton, Municipal Court, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, SPCA, Criminal Defense, Lawyer, Attorney, Woodbury, Gloucester County, Salem County, Atlantic County, Camden County, Burlington County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, Ocean County

Ariete
(Ram)

Francisco de Zurbarán
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

Narrative

On November 20, 2012, after receiving a tip about a Great Dane allegedly in poor condition, Cumberland County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) agents seized the dog, according to nj.com.

SPCA charged Alexander Centeno with failure to maintain proper sustenance, which included failure to provide proper veterinary care, as reported by South Jersey Times.

On November 29, 2012, the firefighter appeared in Bridgeton Municipal Court, and pleaded not guilty, according to South Jersey Times.

The municipal court judge listed Centeno's trial for December 13, 2012, at 2:00 p.m., according to the news.

Animal Cruelty, N.J.S.A. 4:22-17

New Jersey law prohibits animal cruelty, defined as follows:

a. A person who shall:
  1. Overdrive, overload, drive when overloaded, overwork, deprive of necessary sustenance, abuse, or needlessly kill a living animal or creature;
  2. Cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature, any such acts to be done; or
  3. Inflict unnecessary cruelty upon a living animal or creature, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature; or unnecessarily fail to provide a living animal or creature of which the person has charge either as an owner or otherwise with proper food, drink, shelter or protection from the weather; or leave it unattended in a vehicle under inhumane conditions adverse to the health or welfare of the living animal or creature--
Shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense, and notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3 to the contrary, for every such offense shall be fined not less than $250 nor more than $1,000, or be imprisoned for a term of not more than six months, or both, in the discretion of the court. A violator of this subsection shall also be subject to the provisions of subsection c. and, if appropriate, subsection d. of this section.

b. A person who shall purposely, knowingly, or recklessly:
  1. Torment, torture, maim, hang, poison, unnecessarily or cruelly beat, or needlessly mutilate a living animal or creature; or
  2. Cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature, any such acts to be done--
Shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

If the animal or creature is cruelly killed or dies as a result of a violation of this subsection, or the person has a prior conviction for a violation of this subsection, the person shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.

A violator of this subsection shall also be subject to the provisions of subsection c. and, if appropriate, subsection d. of this section.

c. For a violation of subsection a. or b. of this section, in addition to imposing any other appropriate penalties established for a crime of the third degree, crime of the fourth degree, or disorderly persons offense, as the case may be, pursuant to Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, the court shall impose a term of community service of up to 30 days, and may direct that the term of community service be served in providing assistance to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a district (county) society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or any other recognized organization concerned with the prevention of cruelty to animals or the humane treatment and care of animals, or to a municipality's animal control or animal population control program. The court also may require the violator to pay restitution or otherwise reimburse any costs for food, drink, shelter, or veterinary care or treatment, or other costs, incurred by any agency, entity, or organization investigating the violation, including but not limited to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a district (county) society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, any other recognized organization concerned with the prevention of cruelty to animals or the humane treatment and care of animals, or a local or State governmental entity.

d. If a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a disorderly persons offense pursuant to subsection a. of this section or a crime of the third degree or crime of the fourth degree pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the court also shall order the juvenile to receive mental health counseling by a licensed psychologist or therapist named by the court for a period of time to be prescribed by the licensed psychologist or therapist.

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding animal cruelty. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Law Office of Michael A. Smolensky LLC on the World Wide Web.