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Interference with Police Service Animals

The Interference with Police Service Animals crime in the state of Texas makes it illegal to taunt, throw an object, injure or kill a police service animal. You can also be arrested if you let a police service animal out of its controlled area or enter without permission a controlled area where a police service animal is being held and feed it. Learn more detailed information about the Interference with Police Service Animals offense below.

Have you been charged with Interference with Police Service Animals? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305.

Interference with Police Service Animals is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 8 “Offenses Against Public Administration,” Chapter 38 “Obstructing Governmental Operation.”

What is the law in Texas about Interference with Police Service Animals?

The offense is described in Section 38.151 of the Texas Penal Code.

(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.

How can I be charged with Interference with Police Service Animals?

You can be charged with Interference with Police Service Animals if the state’s attorneys believe that each you violated any of Subsections (1)-(10) of Section 38.151(b) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Interference with Police Service Animals?

If you commit the offense under Subsection (b)(1) then a conviction for Interference with Police Service Animals is punished as a Class C misdemeanor,1 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $500.

If you commit the offense under Subsection (b)(2) then a conviction for Interference with Police Service Animals is punished as a Class B misdemeanor,2 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $2,000 and jail time of up to 180 days.

If you commit the offense under Subsection (b)(3), (4), or (5) then a conviction for Interference with Police Service Animals is punished 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.

“Except as provided by Subdivision (5), 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” then a conviction for Interference with Police Service Animals is punished 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 2 years.

If you commit the offense under Subsection (b)(6), or (7) by killing or trying to injure the service animal then a conviction for Interference with Police Service Animals is punished as a Felony of the Second Degree,5 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 20 years. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors


Legal References:

1Texas Penal Code Section 38.151(c)(1)

2Texas Penal Code Section 38.151(c)(2)

3Texas Penal Code Section 38.151(c)(3)

4Texas Penal Code Section 38.151(c)(4)

5Texas Penal Code Section 38.151(c)(5)

Published by Criminal Defense Attorney on and last modified