According to reports out of LaGrange, a man has been convicted of dogfighting and selling drugs after almost a week-long trial.
The convicted man was the subject of an ongoing drug investigation. Investigators found five pit bull dogs in the backyard with fresh fighting wounds. They also discovered eleven ounces of marijuana from inside the house.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the law behind the crime of dogfighting in the state of Georgia.
Dogfighting in Georgia
Dogfighting in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §16-12-37 as the following activities:
- Own, possess, train, transport, or sell any dog with the intent that such dog shall be engaged in fighting with another dog;
- For amusement or gain, cause any dog to fight with another dog or for amusement or gain, cause any dogs to injure each other;
- Wager money or anything of value on the result of such dogfighting;
- Knowingly permit any act in violation of paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection on any premises under the ownership or control of such person or knowingly aid or abet any such act; or
- Knowingly promote or advertise an exhibition of fighting with another dog.
Dogfighting is classified as a felony in the state of Georgia. The penalty for a first conviction will be a fine of at least $5,000, a prison term between one and five years, or both. A second or subsequent conviction will be punished by a prison term between one and ten years, a fine of no less than $15,000, or both.
Moreover, it is illegal in the state of Georgia to even be a spectator at a dog fight. Any person who is knowingly present only as a spectator at any place for the fighting of dogs shall be guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor. This means that the penalty can be up to $5,000 in fines and up to 12 months in jail.
Crimes involving Animals in Georgia are penalized heavily. However, the offenses are to be viewed just like any other crime meaning that just because an individual has been arrested or accused of committing one of these crimes does not mean that he or she is guilty.
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