According to WLBT-TV Channel 3, a horse ran to safety after a group of people attempted to steal it from a pasture in Clay County, Mississippi. Sheriff Eddie Scott claims that one of the offenders saw the horse and hatched a plan with two juveniles and another man to help load the horse into a trailer. Reports indicate that the group allegedly walked the horse down the road, but it broke free from and ran back to its pasture. One of the offenders has since been charged with livestock theft.
Livestock theft is a serious crime that is unfortunately common in the state of Mississippi. With a significant portion of the state’s economy relying on agriculture and farming, livestock theft can have a devastating impact on the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers.
How Does Mississippi Define Livestock & Livestock Theft?
Mississippi law defines livestock as cattle, sheep, swine, horses, mules, goats, and other domestic animals produced for product. Livestock theft occurs when someone knowingly, willingly, and feloniously takes or carries away any livestock of any value belonging to another without the consent of the owner and with the intent to deprive the owner of the livestock. The gravity of the offense is determined by totaling the total value of the livestock obtained from the individual owner or merchant.
Penalties for Livestock Theft in Mississippi
Livestock theft is a felony in Mississippi and can result in serious consequences for those convicted. Under Mississippi law, the penalties for livestock theft vary depending on the value of the stolen livestock. If the stolen livestock is worth less than $1,000, the offender is charged with petit larceny, and if convicted, may face up to six months in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. If the stolen livestock is worth $1,000 or more, but less than $5,000, the offender is charged with grand larceny, and if convicted, can face up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. If the stolen livestock is worth $5,000 or more, but less than $25,000, the offender is charged with grand larceny, and if convicted, can face up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
In addition to any fine or term of imprisonment which may be imposed, the court will order that restitution be paid to the owner of any such stolen livestock. The amount of restitution will be in the amount of the actual financial loss to the owner of the livestock, including any loss of income, any court costs and attorney’s fees incurred by the owner to recover the stolen livestock, the current replacement value of the stolen livestock if the livestock is not recovered, and any other costs incurred by the owner as a result of the theft.
Moreover, those convicted of livestock theft may also face civil penalties in addition to criminal charges. Under Mississippi law, the owner of the stolen livestock can bring a civil action to recover the value of the livestock, as well as any other damages caused by the theft.
Finding an Attorney
If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. Over the years, we have helped numerous offenders pursue favorable outcomes. Although being accused of a crime like livestock theft is not a pleasant experience, there are many potential defense strategies that can be used to defend and reduce the charges against an offender. Some common defenses against livestock theft charges include mistaken identity, lack of intent, and lack of knowledge that the livestock was stolen. Call/contact us today for your free consultation to learn more.
Please also see us on mississippi-lawyers.com and view our reviews on avvo.com, superlawyers.com, and martindale.com. Our email address is mississippi-lawyers.com and our office phone number is (601) 948 – 4444 option 1.