Animal Crimes Lawyer in Richmond

Accused of an Animal Crime in Richmond, VA?

The FBI is avidly investigating animal crimes, adding a separate category for animal cruelty offenses to its National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) to better identify and prosecute such crimes. From its 2016 crime data, the FBI received 1,126 animal cruelty reports, and, of all the reported offenses in that same year, nearly 15% were crimes against society, which include animal cruelty.

With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that animal rights are a critical component of Virginia law, as the state has imposed several animal laws related to the treatment, use, and protection of various wild and domestic animals. Thus, it is vital to retain a knowledgeable and experienced animal crimes attorney in Richmond to help defend your charges. Attorney Paul C. Galanides obtains over two decades of courtroom experience, meaning he is equipped with the resources, strategies, and skills required to help you overcome your accusations.

To schedule a free consultation and discuss your situation, please contact the firm at (804) 977-0110. Available 24/7!

Cases We Handle

Our Richmond animal crimes attorney handles several cases involving, but not limited to:

  • Animal cruelty
  • Animal fighting
  • Animal shelters

What Are the Common Animal Crimes & Penalties in Virginia?

While there is a vast range of offenses that can be committed against animals, among the most widespread animal crimes in VA include:

Cruelty to animals: A Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by no more than 1 year in jail and/or $2,500 fines. A judge may also require participation in anger management classes or other treatment programs. Animal cruelty includes actions not limited to:

  • Overriding, overdriving, overloading, ill-treating, or abandoning any animal
  • Torturing any animal, willfully inflicting inhumane injury or pain not connected with bona fide scientific or medical experimentation on any animal
  • Cruelly or unnecessarily beating, maiming, mutilating, or killing any animal
  • Depriving any animal of necessary food, drink, shelter, or emergency veterinary treatment

Animal fighting: It is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense to knowingly:

  • Promote, prepare for, engage in, or be employed in, the fighting of animals for amusement, sport, or gain
  • Attend an exhibition of the fighting of animals
  • Authorize or allow any person to undertake any act described in this section on any premises under his charge or control
  • Aid or abet any such acts

However, if you commit one or more of the above acts in combination with the following, your penalty may increase to a Class 6 felony which carries a prison sentence of one to five years and/or a $2,500 fine.

  • A dog is one of the animals
  • Any device or substance intended to enhance an animal's ability to fight or to inflict injury upon another animal is used, or possessed with intent to use it for such purpose
  • Money or anything of value is wagered on the result of such fighting
  • When money or anything of value is paid or received for the admission of a person to a place for animal fighting
  • When any animal is possessed, owned, trained, transported, or sold with the intent that the animal engages in an exhibition of fighting with another animal; or
  • When he permits or causes a minor to attend an animal fighting exhibition undertake or be involved in any act described above

Companion animal neglect: Owners of companion animals must provide them with the following, or else violators may get a Class 4 misdemeanor charge, punishable by a $250 fine:

  • Adequate feed
  • Adequate water
  • Adequate shelter that is properly cleaned
  • Adequate space in the primary enclosure for the particular type of animal depending upon its age, size, species, and weight
  • Adequate exercise
  • Adequate care, treatment, and transportation
  • Veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering or disease transmission

Formulating Research-Driven Case Strategies for Every Client

Mr. Galanides is a trusted Richmond animal crime lawyer who is well-aware of the far-reaching impacts of an animal crime conviction. This is why he goes and above and beyond to help build winning case formulas for every client he serves. A former prosecutor, Mr. Galanides has rare yet invaluable insights into how the other side of the courtroom operates, meaning he can leverage that knowledge by devising aggressive defense strategies against the prosecution’s anticipated attacks. As a result, he may help get your animal crime charges reduced or dropped completely.

Get started on your case by contacting the Law Office of Paul C. Galanides, P.C. online or at (804) 977-0110!


“I'm inspired to fight for the rights our constitution guarantees us, and to attempt to truly make a difference.”

- Paul C. Galanides
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