How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask P. Simmons Your Own Question

P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26135
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
P. Simmons is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My wife has been charged with a class c misdemeanor in the

Resolved Question:

My wife has been charged with a class c misdemeanor in the state of Utah for animal cruelty. She left our dog in the car for 30 min at 7pm and someone called the police. What is likely to happen to her?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 11 months ago.
Thanks for the chance to assist on this matter. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience in criminal law.

A class c misdemeanor is the lowest possible level of criminal charge in Utah.

The maximum punishment is 90 days in jail and a fine of $750.

That is the max punishment. That would only happen if she had an extensive criminal record and the dog died.

More likely? IF she does not have a criminal record? She will be forced to pay a fine.

I doubt they even give probation, much less jail time.

This is what the law states

Except as provided in Subsection (4) or (6), a person is guilty of cruelty to an animal if the person, without legal privilege to do so, intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence:
(a) fails to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter for an animal in the person's custody;

Frankly, if the animal was not harmed? It may be she can fight the case and win. IF she can show that the animal was not in danger and did not suffer? It is not a crime.



Customer: replied 11 months ago.

She has no criminal record of any kind as is supper anxious about the whole thing. We go to court tomorrow and understand that we will likely pay a fine. Should we bother fighting it at this point other then apologizing profusely and stating that we felt the dog was not in danger because the sun was going down and the windows were all cracked.


 

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 11 months ago.
When you show up tomorrow (or sometime before she appears) the prosecutor will give her the "offer"

90++ percent of all cases plea out pursuant to a plea agreement deal. They will likely offer to let her plea for a fine. If she refuses she can set a date to fight it in court. If she looses, it could be she faces a larger fine or perhaps probation...so the stakes go up a bit.

But not so much

Really her call...this is a really minor matter (in terms of criminal law). I understand it is stressful. And again, what you describe, if she wants to fight this she can...they (the state) must prove she put the dog in danger...what you describe I do not see it....so I think you have a case to fight it.


P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26135
Experience: 16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
P. Simmons and 8 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
< Last | Next >
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/retiredlawyer/2012-6-6_19326_franL.64x64.jpg Fran L.'s Avatar

    Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2079
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NA/nathanmoorelaw/2011-5-31_21375_headshotbig.64x64.jpg Nate's Avatar

    Nate

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1625
    Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1434
    30 years legal experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1418
    16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1380
    Licensed attorney with 27 yrs. exp. in criminal law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1300
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.