President Trump recently signed a bill that will now make animal cruelty a federal offense. The official name of the bill is the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, and it will significantly increase the penalties associated with various types of animal abuse and cruelty. As a result, individuals in Texas facing these types of charges would be wise to take their case seriously and secure federal criminal defense help as soon as possible.
Under this new law, it is now a federal criminal offense to treat animals in certain ways, including burning, crushing, drowning and impaling animals. As a federal crime, officials can now pursue alleged offenders across state lines, and the law also prohibits the recording of animal cruelty. In the past, the making and distribution of these videos was a crime, but the actual recorded acts were not.
There was widespread support for this bill, with both Republican and Democrat lawmakers pushing to get it passed. As with any new law, there may be some questions regarding the interpretation of the PACT Act and how officials can prosecute it. Those charged under this law will find it especially important to develop an effective defense strategy to fight these allegations.
Any Texas defendant charged with violating the PACT Act will want to seek federal criminal defense support as soon as he or she learns he or she is under investigation or charged with a crime. A person has the right to a presumption of innocence and to confront any charges brought by the prosecution. To start, those facing allegations of animal cruelty may want to seek an assessment of their case to understand the defense options available to them.