Attack on Assistance Animal text over Texas flags background

Attack on Assistance Animal

The Attack on Assistance Animal crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you or your animal attacks, injures, or kills an “Assistance Animal.” Learn more detailed information about the Attack on Assistance Animal offense below.

An “assistance animal” is defined in the law as a canine that is specially trained or equipped to help a person with a disability and that is used by a person with a disability1.

Have you been charged with Attack on Assistance Animal? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

Attack on Assistance Animal is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 9 “Offenses Against Public Order And Decency,” Chapter 42 “Disorderly Conduct And Related Offenses.”

What is the current Texas law about Attack on Assistance Animal?

The current Texas law is as follows:2

(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly attacks, injures, or kills an assistance animal.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly incites or permits an animal owned by or otherwise in the custody of the actor to attack, injure, or kill an assistance animal and, as a result of the person’s conduct, the assistance animal is attacked, injured, or killed.

How can I be charged with Attack on Assistance Animal?

You can be charged with Attack on Assistance Animal if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 42.091(a)(b) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Attack on Assistance Animal?

If the actor or animal owned by actor attacks an assistance animal, then a conviction for Attack on Assistance Animal is punished by default as a Class A misdemeanor,3 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year.

If the actor or animal owned by the actor attacks and injures an assistance animal, then a conviction for Attack on Assistance Animal is punished as a State Jail Felony,4 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to two years.

If the actor or animal owned by the actor attacks and kills an assistance animal, then a conviction for Attack on Assistance Animal is punished as a Felony of the Third Degree,5 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code Section 42.091(e)(1)

(1) “Assistance animal” has the meaning assigned by Section 121.002, Human Resources Code.

2 Texas Penal Code §42.091

3 Texas Penal Code §42.091(c)(1)

4 Texas Penal Code §42.091(c)(2)

5 Texas Penal Code §42.091(c)(3)

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