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Cockfighting Law, Sentence, & Defense

PC 597b(b) Crimes

Information on the crime of cockfighting is found at California penal code section 597b(b).


Cockfighting Defined: Cockfighting is a sport where two cocks (roosters) are placed in a small ring and are encouraged to fight, usually to the death and often with some type of cutting instrument, such as a razor, attached to the roosters' talons. Often times the roosters are bred for the purpose of cockfighting and are made to be aggressive with other roosters.  


PC 597b(b) Law


PC 597b(b): Any person who, for amusement or gain, causes any cock to fight with another cock or with a different kind of animal or creature or with any human being; or who, for amusement or gain, worries or injures any cock, or causes any cock to worry or injure another animal; and any person who permits the same to be done on any premises under his or her charge or control, and any person who aids or abets the fighting or worrying of any cock is guilty of cockfighting.


Note: For purposes of PC 597b(b), aiding and abetting requires something more than mere presence as a spectator at a cockfight.

Worry Defined: To worry a cock (rooster) means to purposefully make the animal anxious or nervous by harassment, usually by shouting at, muzzling, shaking, injuring, or otherwise terrorizing the animal. This excitement is intended to make the animal aggressive.

PC 597b(b) Sentence

PC 597b(b): Cockfighting is charged as a misdemeanor. If found guilty of cockfighting, the defendant could face up to a year in the county jail and up to a $10,000 fine, or both.

PC 597b(c) Cockfighting with a prior conviction for cockfighting is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If found guilty of misdemeanor PC 597b(c), the defendant could face up to one year in the county jail. If found guilty of felony PC 597b(c), the defendant could face up to three years in jail.

Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is a period of supervision in instead of jail (some actual jail, work release or house arrest could be included in a probation sentence). Probation sentences are allowed in PC 597b cases, but not guaranteed. Whether or not  probation sentence is granted after a conviction for cockfighting depends on the circumstances of the case and the defendant's criminal history. In felony cockfighting cases, the court must find unusual circumstances before allowing a defendant to serve a probation sentence (as opposed to a jail sentence without probation).

Three Strikes Law: Neither the crime of cockfighting (PC 597b(b)), nor the crime of cockfighting with a prior conviction for cockfighting (PC 597b(c)) is classified as a strike offense under California's Three Strikes Sentencing Law.

In addition to the penalties listed above, if found guilty of cockfighting, the defendant could face any of the following punishment: immigration consequences, professional licensing consequences, fines and fees, restitution, criminal protective orders, denial of military enlistment, firearm prohibition (for felony PC 597b(c), and more.

Bail: The scheduled bail amount for PC 597b(b) is set at $5,000 in San Bernardino County ($25,000 for felony PC 597b(c)).

PC 597 Defense

common defenses to crime of cockfighting include: presence as a mere spectator at a cockfight, insufficient evidence to prove the defendant engaged in the cockfight, mistake of fact, coerced confessions, insanity, illegal search and seizure, and more 

If you have been arrested or charged with cockfighting, or PC 597b(b), contact out criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Our criminal defense lawyers are available everyday to assist you and patiently answer all of your questions. Call today!


Quick Reference​ Sheet

Crime: Cockfighting

Code: PC 597b(b)

Wobbler: No. PC 597b(b) is not a wobbler. This means that PC 597b(b) is only charged as a misdemeanor.

Incarceration: jail sentence up to 1 year.

Probation: Probation may be available in PC 597b(b) cases (assuming other crimes or enhancements that bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.​

Work Release or House Arrest: In some cases, a probation sentence can include actual in-custody county jail, house arrest (electronic monitoring), or work release (or some combination of these penalties); however, most in-custody jail sentence orders that are required as a terms of probation are much shorter than the maximum jail sentence.

Strike: PC 597b(b) is not a strike offense listed in California's Three Strikes law.

Credits: 50% good conduct credits available.​​

Bail: $5,000 (San Bernardino County)

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