Jillian Williamson recently advocated for a Calgarian (Mr. Z) who was charged with an animal cruelty charge for killing a gopher. Jillian’s client had a gopher problem. He had called the City but was told that because this problem was on his private property he would need to hire an exterminator. He called an exterminator and was told to get a trap from Canadian Tire. He did so and eventually ended up killing a gopher.
The man’s neighbor reported this to the police, and the police charged him with unlawfully killing an animal and unlawfully causing unnecessary pain to the animal. Mr. Z was very upset that he was charged with a criminal offence. He is only a permanent resident here in Canada.
A criminal conviction would have a severe consequence for him and his family if he would be convicted of an offence. He retained Ms. Williamson because of her extensive experience in defending these types of charges. They got to work right away. Often times, a lawyer will negotiate to get the charge reduced. This is sometimes in the client’s favour and sometimes not.
Ms. Williamson considered such a tactic but ultimately advised the client that it was not in his best interest.
They prepared for trial which included obtaining an expert pest control company to testify in how to deal with gophers. Eventually, the crown prosecutor decided that proceeding with such a case was not in the public interest and stayed the charges.
This tactic was wisely chosen by Ms. Williamson; it resulted in the client not getting any kind of criminal record. Mr. Z gets to go about his life and has no fear of any negative consequences to his immigration status.
If you are charged with an animal cruelty offence, it is imperative that you retain an experienced lawyer that understands how to defend these types of charges and when it is in your best interest to negotiate or go all the way to trial. Call us today so we can help you.
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