Legal Experts: Animal cruelty legal advise?

Okay so one cold evening in january my husband and I were getting ready to go on our first date since our daughter was born (she was 4 wks old). We got her out to the car and my husband asked have you seen roscoe? (our beagle) I said that he's got to be inside sleeping upstair because I hadn't seen him and didn't let him outside. We called for roscoe several times. It was pitch black but we didn't see the dog in the yard. Two hours later after coming home from dinner there was a note on our door that said Animal care and control had picked him up. Three days later (Monday) the day we could pick him up they gave us two tickets (No food, water, shelter) and (nuisance-howling) and a summons to court for animal cruelty. Mind you our beagle is well fed and spoiled. He lives inside the house therefore there was no water/food outside. He only goes outside to pee. We love our dog, we've had him 7 years. This is an isolated incident. We are guessing the dog had sneaked out when we were leaving and since it was dark and the yard is in an L Shape that leaves a place to hide behind our garage that he was back there. He also doesn't come when we call him if he's sniffing out a trail. So now we're going to court, I have no lawyer. Will my story alone help us? Do i need vet records and a pic of our yard? HELP!!

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