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Federal crimes: Stealth provision outlaws dog fight attendance

Not long ago, U.S. Congress passed a major farm bill. While this proved to be a significant news item, one aspect of the bill that is likely to have repercussions in the world of the law of federal crimes went nearly unnoticed. As a result of this legislation being signed into law, it is now a federal crime to attend an animal fighting event.

According to reports, it had previously been a crime to charge those who organized dog fights, but the legislation will now provide federal law enforcement officials with the authority to charge anyone who simply attends these events.

In addition to making it illegal on a federal level to attend a dog fight, a person can also be charged for bringing a child under the age of 16 to an event. Of course, this would only create additional trouble for someone who is charged under the new law.

Federal crimes often involve higher stakes than charges brought forward on a state level. It may become apparent that federal officials have very significant resources at their disposal to investigate and prosecute federal crimes. As a result, those who are facing federal charges might feel intimidated. Knowing this, it may be important to take precautions to help level the playing field in this type of criminal case.

Being charged with a crime is obviously never convenient. However, not knowing what is or isn't considered a federal crime can put a person in a very challenging situation. Still, being taken off guard in this way will not prevent prosecutors from aggressively pursuing a case.

Source: Politix, "It's Now a Federal Crime for You to Attend a Dog Fight," Dain Fitzgerald, Feb. 10, 2014

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