Bestiality Lawyer in Tampa
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Why You Should Hire Mike G Law to Defend Your Bestiality Charge
While a bestiality conviction in the state of Florida will come with penalties, perhaps even worse is the social stigma that follows. Even those falsely accused of bestiality (and not convicted) often face ostracization by their community, becoming high-profile cases. Their friends and family may alienate them, causing additional stress. Their reputation will be in ruins, making it difficult to find work or for others to trust them.
The moment you know the police suspect you of bestiality, you need to hire Mike G. He is the best bestiality defense lawyer in Tampa who will stand up for your rights and fight vehemently on your behalf. If you can speak with him before the police formally charge you, he can work diligently to try to have prosecutors drop or reduce the charges before a formal arraignment hearing. This will protect you from the community finding out about any accusations of such sexual activity.
If the police have already charged you with sexual contact with an animal, you still want Mike G on your side. He has 25 years of experience working on both sides of the law as a prosecutor and in the Assistant State Attorney’s office. He has litigated thousands of cases involving sex offenses, such as:
- Child sexual abuse and child pornography
- Indecent exposure
- Lewd and lascivious battery
- Lewd and lascivious conduct
- Lewd and lascivious exhibition
- Lewd and lascivious molestation
- Rape and Sexual Assault
- Sexual Battery
- Solicitation of prostitution
- Statutory rape
Our law firm helps clients throughout the Clearwater-St. Petersburg-Tampa Bay tri-region and in the counties of:
- Hernando County
- Hillsborough County
- Pasco County
- Pinellas County
- Polk County
If you are charged with bestiality, contact our office for a free consultation with the best criminal defense attorney in Tampa, Mike G.
What Is Bestiality?
Under U.S. federal law, bestiality is when a person engages in “unnatural carnal copulation with an animal.” Simply put, it’s the performance of any sexual contact between a human and an animal. Additionally, a person commits bestiality when they:
- Aid or abet another’s sexual activity with an animal
- Permit sexual activity with an animal on a property they control
- Further sexual acts with an animal, including observation
- Take photos of or film sexual contact with animals for sexual gratification
Bestiality has been a federal crime under the United States Armed Forced Code since the 1950s.
However, in 2019, Congress passed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT Act), which criminalizes the following acts in interstate and foreign commerce:
- The creation, distribution, and sale of videos depicting animal cruelty, like showing animals subjected to:
- Serious bodily harm
What Are Bestiality Laws in Florida?
According to Chapter 847 of Florida law, “Obscenity” defines sexual bestiality as “any sexual act, actual or simulated, between a person and an animal involving the sex organ of the one and the mouth, anus, or vagina of the other.”
Florida’s bestiality law falls under Florida Statute 828.126. This law makes it illegal to have sexual contact with the sex organs of an animal, including fondling or masturbating the sex organ or anus of an animal, for the purpose of:
- Financial gain
- Sexual gratification
The statute is similar to federal law, making the same sexual acts between humans and animals illegal.
Additionally, under Florida Statue 800.04, lewd and lascivious acts law, lewd and lascivious exhibition is illegal. The sex under lewd and lascivious exhibition does not need to be penetration; it can be S&M or bestiality.
Thus, an offender can sometimes receive bestiality and lewd and lascivious exhibition charges together. This would lead to more prosecution and severe penalties for the person convicted.
If law enforcement ever suspects you of engaging in bestiality or charges you with a sex crime related to bestiality, you need a zoophilia lawyer like Mike G on your side to represent you and fight for your rights. Law enforcement and prosecutors do not go lightly on people suspected of having committed these types of animal sexual act crimes.
Consequences and Penalties for a Bestiality Crime in Florida
In the past, the penalties for bestiality were not as severe as other sex crime criminal charges in the state of Florida. The consequences for a bestiality conviction were as follows:
- First-degree misdemeanor
- Up to one year in prison
- A maximum fine of $1,000
However, as of 2022, a bestiality conviction is now a third-degree felony. The maximum sentence for a third-degree felony is five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. If the animal dies during the act, more severe consequences will transpire.
Further, if the charge includes lewd and lascivious exhibition, you’ll face a second-degree felony. The penalty for a second-degree felony in Florida is up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Florida has several other laws relating to animal abuse and suffering that the state could charge you with, depending on the nature of the offense and the bestiality crime. Therefore, an offender may face multiple charges for one act of bestiality.
Finally, since bestiality is a sex crime, you’ll likely need to register as a sex offender. This is especially true if your conviction includes other crimes related to sexual activity, like lewd and lascivious exhibition.
Common Defenses Against Bestiality Charges
A skilled criminal defense lawyer like Mike G can help create a defense strategy for your bestiality charge. A few common defenses include:
- Civil rights violations
- False accusations
- The animal was behaving aggressively toward the defendant
- The defendant did not act knowingly or intentionally
- The law accepts the practice in question as legal (such as artificial insemination or the judging of animals)
- The practice in question was an accepted medical procedure performed by a licensed veterinarian
Our Process: What to Expect When Working With Mike G Law
When you hire Mike G. as your bestiality defense lawyer, you can ensure he will take the time to build a solid attorney-client relationship with you. He is a no-nonsense attorney who will always be on your side. He will not make empty promises about your case.
He will build a strong defense and guide you through each step of the legal process, whether collecting evidence or negotiating with prosecutors. But he will also be honest about what outcome you can expect based on criminal law and your specific circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bestiality Law in Tampa
Bestiality charges are often misunderstood, leading to many questions about what is legal and illegal under the law. Below we answer some common questions for your benefit.
Is bestiality legal in Florida?
No, bestiality is not legal in Florida.
Is watching bestiality illegal in Florida?
It is illegal to knowingly film, distribute, or possess any pornographic image or video of a person and an animal engaged in sex acts. Thus, if you have photos or videos of illegal bestiality acts on your cell phone and computer for viewing, the state can charge you with a crime.
If you only watch bestiality videos online, law enforcement may find charging you with a crime more difficult. However, most of these videos are on the dark web, and Florida has laws that state browsing is illegal. So, if you watch bestiality videos online, you may be subject to other criminal charges.
How many states is bestiality illegal in?
As of 2022, bestiality was illegal in all but two states. Those states are New Mexico and West Virginia.
It wasn’t until 2021 that Hawaii and Wyoming passed their first bestiality laws, meaning the sexual performances described within the regulations were legal until very recently.
The state of Florida criminalized bestiality in 2011.
Why did Florida increase penalties for bestiality crime?
In 2022, Florida increased the penalties for bestiality (CS/CS/SB 1798 — Sexually Related Offenses) and created a new law that bans pornography that depicts people having sexual relations with an animal.
The Florida legislature moved to pass these new regulations because evidence shows a connection between animal abuse and child abuse. In fact, the sexual abuse of animals is the top predictor for the sexual abuse of children. There’s also a connection between animal abuse and sadomasochistic abuse.
Now, bestiality and possession of pornography involving a sexual act with animals are third-degree felonies. Additionally, anyone convicted of these offenses could face a five-year ban from owning, possessing, or exercising control over an animal. They also won’t be able to live in a home with animals or work in a job where animals are present. This includes volunteering with animals.
What about repeat offenders with a previous bestiality conviction?
Repeat offenses generally lead to enhanced penalties, including lengthier prison sentences, higher fines, mandatory counseling or treatment, and registration as a sex offender (if that hasn’t happened already). Additionally, judges and prosecutors might view anyone previously convicted or charged with bestiality less leniently, which could result in more severe consequences.
It’s important to note that laws can change over time, and the legal process can be complex. If you have been charged with bestiality, it’s recommended to consult with a qualified defense lawyer in Tampa who can provide you with accurate and up-to-date information.
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