A 24-year-old man has been accused of entering his ex-girlfriend's home two weeks ago in Gwinnett County. Miguel Almodovar resulted to pointing a gun at her husband when he refused him entry to see her.
According to reports, Almodovar pointed a small handgun at her husband's head and threatened to shoot him. He then allegedly fired a least six shots. These gunshots resulted in the death of the couple's dog as well as serious damage to the interior of their home.
Almodovar was arrested on charges of:
- Aggravated Assault in Georgia
- Second Degree Criminal Damage to Property in Georgia
- Aggravated cruelty to animals in Georgia
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the offense of animal cruelty in today's post.
Cruelty to Animals in Georgia
Georgia Law defines cruelty to animals in Georgia in O.C.G.A. §16-12-4 as:
A person will be guilty of cruelty to animals when they:
- Cause physical pain, suffering, or death to any animal by any unjustifiable act or omission; or
- Intentionally exercise custody, control, possession, or ownership of an animal and fail to provide to such animal adequate food, water, sanitary conditions, or ventilation that is consistent with what a reasonable person of ordinary knowledge would believe is the normal requirement and feeding habit for such animal's size, species, breed, age, and physical condition.
Cruelty to animals is classified as a misdemeanor - meaning that if convicted the penalty can include up to $1000 in fines and 12 months up in jail. However, the same statute defines aggravated cruelty to animals in Georgia. Aggravated cruelty to animals is the elevated version of the base crime of cruelty to animals. The law states that:
A person commits aggravated cruelty to animals when he or she:
- Maliciously causes the death of an animal;
- Maliciously causes physical harm to an animal by depriving it of a member of its body, by rendering a part of such animal's body useless, or by seriously disfiguring such animal's body or a member thereof;
- Maliciously tortures an animal by the infliction of or subjection to severe or prolonged physical pain;
- Maliciously administers poison to an animal, or exposes an animal to any poisonous substance, with the intent that the substance be taken or swallowed by the animal; or
- Intentionally exercise custody, control, possession, or ownership of an animal and fail to provide to such animal adequate food, water, sanitary conditions, or ventilation that is consistent with what a reasonable person of ordinary knowledge would believe is the normal requirement and feeding habit for such animal's size, species, breed, age, and physical condition to the extent that the death of such animal results or a member of its body is rendered useless or is seriously disfigured.
Aggravated cruelty to animals is classified as a felony offense. A person convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals shall be guilty of a felony with a felony of prison between one and five years, a fine of no more than $15,000, or both. A second or subsequent conviction of aggravated cruelty to animals will result in a lengthened prison term between one and ten years and a fine of up to $100,000, or both.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today.