Daytona Beach, FL - In a 2-1 decision, a panel from the 5th District Court of Appeal overturned the lifetime ban on pet ownership against 47-year-old Travis Archer. The case against Archer led to the creation of Ponce's Law which came after the brutal beating death of his black Labrador 9-month-old puppy in 2017.
From a NewsServiceFlorida. com article, "The ruling said the ban should not exceed a three-year term of probation that was part of Archer’s sentence. “We view a lifetime prohibition on Archer’s ownership of animals, however justified, to exceed the trial court’s jurisdiction,” said the seven-page majority decision by Judges Richard Orfinger and John Harris. “On remand, the trial court shall modify (a condition of his probation order that imposed the lifetime ban) to be coextensive with the remainder of the probationary term.”
The lifetime ban was imposed in November 2019 when Archer was sentenced after pleading Guilty to Felony Cruelty to Animals instead of the original charge of Animal Cruelty Causing Death, Pain, and Suffering - 2nd Offense.
Debbie Tayler Darino says that one reason the appeal went through is that Ponce's Law was not even created at the time Archer committed the crime.
From her Facebook page: "The old statute did NOT have any provisions for banning animals. Ponce's Law DOES. When you commit a crime you are sentenced under the statute that was in force at the time of the crime.....and not the laws passed after your crime."
Darino says she has spoken with the state attorney's office about whether an appeal to the decision will be filed. She said, "THIS is why I continue day and night to push for laws to protect the animals...I do it with or without anyone coming with me because it is that important!"