In our current economic situation, life can be hard, regardless of one’s circumstances. However, when one is arrested and charged with a crime, one’s life becomes downright harrowing. Indeed, even before one is convicted, just being charged with a crime can cause irreparable reputational damage that can follow one for the rest of their lives. And, if one is convicted, that charge can have further life altering consequences, like employment and educational opportunity loss, fines and jail time. Unfortunately, this is the situation that two Mobile men find themselves in now.

The dogfighting charges

Over the weekend, the two Mobile men, aged 26 and 42, were arrested and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and dogfighting. The police alleged that they received a call shortly before 11:00 a.m. Sunday that a dogfight was happening. While responding to the report, on New Bay Bridge Road at Butt Street, the police claimed that they saw an SUV with a dog crate inside. The police then pulled the SUV over and claim they saw injuries on the dog in the crate. This was the basis of their charges.

Options, post-arrest

As any passive viewer of any crime show can attest, ask for an attorney immediately and keep quiet. During an investigation, the police are not your friend. They are looking to arrest and charge people they perceive are guilty of a crime, regardless of whether they are actually guilty of that crime.

In this case, it is what probable cause allowed the police to pull this SUV over. After all, it is not illegal to drive with an occupied dog crate in a vehicle. And, it is also not uncommon for dogs to have injuries from activities unrelated to dog fighting. Accordingly, these men should contact an attorney immediately. If it can be shown that the police did not have probable cause to pull these men over, all evidence from that stop can be thrown out, which will likely result in a dismissal or acquittal.

But, again, the first step in an effective criminal defense, is ensuring that one has legal counsel, immediately. Mobile, Alabama, like the rest of the country, is required to provide one, and they can be the difference maker in setting one free.