There are a variety of offenses against service animals that can be prosecuted in New Jersey.
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3.2, Offenses Against Service Animals, Guide Dogs, it is a crime to recklessly kill a service animal or guide dog, or recklessly permit your own dog to injure or kill a service animal or guide dog.
These offenses are crimes of the fourth degree, with a possible sentence of 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000.
A person who recklessly injures a service animal or recklessly allows a dog under their control to injure a service animal or guide dog will be charged with a disorderly persons offense and face up to six months in jail and fines of $1,000.
Interfering with a service animal, or allowing a dog in your control to do so, or using obstruction or intimidation to jeopardize the safety of a service animal or its handler, will be charged as a petty disorderly persons offense, with a maximum sentence of 30 days and a fine of $500.
Those convicted under 2C:29-3.2 are also obligated to make restitution to the handler, including reimbursement for the value of the service animal or guide dog, replacement and training or retraining expenses for both animal and handler, any veterinary or medical and boarding expenses for the dog, medical expenses for the handler, and lost wages that are incurred by deprivation of the service animal or guide dog.
Instances where guide dogs and service animals are injured are uncommon, but when they happen, the results can be catastrophic for the person charged, or their animal.
Take action right away when you’re charged with any crime in New Jersey.
Matthew Reisig has protected the rights and freedom of clients in New Jersey for nearly 20 years.
Call 732-625-9661 today for a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney.