Making animals fight is a violation of California’s legal codes. This includes cockfighting. California uses Penal Code 597(b) to specifically prosecute the act of cockfighting, which can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the situation.
A cockfighting conviction can result in incarceration, fines, or probation. The Simmrin Law Group can help you fight back against cockfighting charges. Learn more today by calling (310) 997-4688.
The Legal Definition of Cockfighting
Cockfighting is a serious crime in California. Individuals can face charges under PC 597(b) if they:
Cause a Cockfight to Occur
Causing a cockfight to occur is a criminal offense in Los Angeles. Cockfights do not always involve only roosters, or cocks. These fights can also include other animals and even people. All forms of cockfighting are illegal.
Harm a Rooster
Cocks are roosters, or male chickens. Individuals can face criminal charges if they:
- Injure a rooster OR
- Allow a rooster to injure another animal
This charge can apply even if the injury occurred outside of cockfighting. However, PC 597(b) charges should only apply if individuals engage in this act in a specific location, such as on a property they control.
Aid or Abet in Cockfighting
If an individual helps set up a cockfight, he or she could face charges under PC 597(b). Offering an individual involved in cockfighting any form of assistance is against the law.
Watch a Cockfight
Simply attending a cockfight is also against the law. People can face charges even if they do not set up or help organize the combat. You can find out more about how to fight these charges with the Simmrin Law Group. Call us at (310) 997-4688.
Charges Similar to Cockfighting in Los Angeles
The state of California also prosecutes animal abuse more generally (PC 597) and dog fighting (PC 597.5), rather than cockfighting, using different penal codes.
The mistreatment of an animal is treated very harshly in the California court system. Get additional information about how to fight animal abuse charges by contacting us.
Convictions for Cockfighting in California
Individuals can face either misdemeanor or felony charges for a cockfighting accusation. A first-time cockfighting offense is always a misdemeanor. A conviction for a first-time cockfighting violation can lead to:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Jail time of up to one year
Subsequent infractions are considered “wobblers.” This means they can be treated as either misdemeanors or felonies. The penalties are harsher even if someone is charged with a misdemeanor for a second offense. The fines for a second offense can increase up to $25,000. Felony convictions are more serious and can result in:
- Fines of up to $25,000
- Prison time of up to three years
Take both misdemeanor and felony charges for cockfighting seriously. Reach out to a violent crimes lawyer in Los Angeles today.
Cockfighting Defenses in Los Angeles
Contact the team at the Simmrin Law Group if you are accused of cockfighting in California. We know what it takes to handle these charges, and we are ready to help you work on your defense, whether you were accused of a misdemeanor or a felony. We can argue that:
You Hurt an Animal by Accident
Harming a rooster can lead to PC 597(b) charges in California. However, you must have acted intentionally to be convicted. We’ll work to show that you did not purposefully cause harm to a rooster or cause a rooster to harm another animal.
You Were Acting in Self-Defense
Sometimes individuals have to take violent action to protect themselves from harm. If you harmed a rooster or another animal because they were threatening you, you could avoid a PC 597(b) conviction.
You Were Falsely Accused
A person may make a false accusation regarding cockfighting. Perhaps you own roosters for reasons unrelated to cockfighting. We can help you defend yourself in this situation.
Work with a Lawyer to Handle Penal Code 597(b) Charges
Want help handling charges for cockfighting in Los Angeles? Get assistance by contacting the Simmrin Law Group today. We know how to deal with Penal Code 597(b) violations. We can handle all aspects of your case, from the initial interviews to a possible plea bargain. Contact us right now at (310) 997-4688. We also have an online contact form.
Discuss your situation and legal options with a free consultation.