Felony Offenses in the Texas Penal Code

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Texas Penal Code, Section 38.151 - Interference with Police Service Animals

CHAPTER 38. OBSTRUCTING GOVERNMENTAL OPERATION

        § 38.151.  INTERFERENCE WITH POLICE SERVICE ANIMALS.
        (a)  In this section:
                (1)  "Area of control" includes a vehicle, trailer, kennel, pen, or yard.
                (2)  "Handler or rider" means a peace officer, corrections officer, or jailer who is specially trained to use a police service animal for law enforcement, corrections, prison or jail security, or investigative purposes.
                (3)  "Police service animal" means a dog, horse, or other domesticated animal that is specially trained for use by a handler or rider.
        (b)  A person commits an offense if the person recklessly:
                (1)  taunts, torments, or strikes a police service animal;
                (2)  throws an object or substance at a police service animal;
                (3)  interferes with or obstructs a police service animal or interferes with or obstructs the handler or rider of a police service animal in a manner that:
                        (A)  inhibits or restricts the handler's or rider's control of the animal;  or
                        (B)  deprives the handler or rider of control of the animal;
                (4)  releases a police service animal from its area of control;
                (5)  enters the area of control of a police service animal without the effective consent of the handler or rider, including placing food or any other object or substance into that area;
                (6)  injures or kills a police service animal;  or
                (7)  engages in conduct likely to injure or kill a police service animal, including administering or setting a poison, trap, or any other object or substance.
        (c)  An offense under this section is:
                (1)  a Class C misdemeanor if the person commits an offense under Subsection (b)(1);
                (2)  a Class B misdemeanor if the person commits an offense under Subsection (b)(2);
                (3)  a Class A misdemeanor if the person commits an offense under Subsection (b)(3), (4), or (5);
                (4)  a state jail felony if the person commits an offense under Subsection (b)(6) or (7) by injuring a police service animal or by engaging in conduct likely to injure the animal;  or
                (5)  a felony of the third degree if the person commits an offense under Subsection (b)(6) or (7) by killing a police service animal or by engaging in conduct likely to kill the animal.

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