Service Animal Interference
As more options are available to those who are living with a disability to make life easier, there are also laws that have been put in place to protect them and their means of living. One such type of law is the section in the penal cods that is offenses against service animals and their handlers. If you have been charged with a section of this law as described below, for interfering with as service animal and their handler, call now for a free consultation with one of our experienced New York criminal attorneys.
First, the term disability is used to mean anyone who has a mental, physical or medical impairment that prevents normal bodily function, or they have record of such impairment. In some cases, they may have a service animal that is partnered with them who is trained to be a guide or an aid to such a person. At this point, the person with the service animal becomes their handler.
One offense that is a class B misdemeanor is interference, harassment, or intimidation of a service animal. If a person acts intending to make it dangerous, impossible or impractical for the service animal to do its assigned duties and responsibilities in assisting a person with a disability, they will be charged with this offense which can result in a short jail sentence and possible fines.
Harming a service animal is chargeable in two degrees, the lower being a class A misdemeanor. This offense is charged when a person intends to do so and does actually cause physical injury to a service animal or causes such an injury that results in the death of the service animal. In its higher degree, this offense is a class E felony which can mean at least a year in jail and incredibly higher fines if convicted. If a person has previously been convicted of harming a service animal in the second degree in the past five years and is charged a second time, they will be charged with the offense in the first degree.
Service animals are treated as an extension of their handlers and other charges may also come about at the time if you have been charged with an offense against a service animal. Depending on the situation, charges of discrimination can also be brought by the handler that are related to the same occurrence. Our office can help you handle the charges that involve interfering with a service animal as well as with any other charges that might be brought.
Our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys will be by your side and will do our best to work with the court and the Prosecutor in order to receive the best possible disposition. In most criminal cases that we handle, our team is able to negotiate a deal in which the charges are lowered for a lesser sentence. This is especially helpful if you are being charged with either offense that is a misdemeanor, in which we have been successful in having similar charges reduced to violations. Violations are not as serious and can be the difference in having a criminal record or not. Call now for a free consultation.