An animal that has been properly trained to help someone with a disability is known as a service animal. assistance dogs are the most popular kind of assistance animal, but ferrets and miniature horses are also acceptable. There are particular regulations designed to punish persons who hurt service animals since they carry out essential tasks for people with disabilities.
If you intentionally do something that makes it impractical, dangerous, or impossible for a service animal to carry out its assigned duties of aiding a person with a disability, you could be charged with interference, harassment, or intimidation of a service animal under New York Penal Law 242.05. A service animal is an animal that has been specially trained or is currently undergoing special training by a certified person to assist or guide someone who has a disability, according to New York Penal Law 242.00(1).
A class B misdemeanor is committed when a service animal is interfered with, harassed, or threatened. Accordingly, if you are found guilty, you might receive a penalty that includes up to 90 days in jail, one year of probation, making restitution, and paying a fine.
Whether it be a dog, horse, ferret, or some other kind of animal, the animal must be a service animal as described by New York Penal Law 242.00(1) for you to be found guilty of interfering with, harassing, or intimidating a service animal. You would not be guilty of this offense if the animal had not been trained as a service animal or if it had not been trained by a certified individual.
New York Penal Law § 242.05: Interference, Harassment or Intimidation Of a Service Animal
When someone does something with the intention of making it difficult, risky, or impossible for a service animal to carry out its assigned duties of helping a person with a handicap, that person is guilty of interfering with, harassing, or intimidating the animal.
- Harming a service animal in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 242.10
- Harming a service animal in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 242.15
Hiring A New York Lawyer For Interference, Harassment, or Intimidation Of a Service Animal Case
Hiring a New York lawyer for an interference, harassment, or intimidation case involving a service animal is essential. In New York, such offenses are taken seriously, and convictions can result in significant penalties. A skilled attorney well-versed in state laws can build a robust defense, investigate the circumstances, and challenge the prosecution’s evidence. They’ll strive to protect your rights, emphasizing the importance of service animals and any mitigating factors in your case. Your lawyer will work diligently to secure the best possible outcome, potentially reducing charges or penalties. With their expertise, you can navigate the legal process with confidence, ensuring your interests are safeguarded.