BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 794 (Linder) - Criminal acts against law enforcement animals
          
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          |Version: April 8, 2015          |Policy Vote: PUB. S. 7 - 0      |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: Yes                    |
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          |Hearing Date: June 29, 2015     |Consultant: Jolie Onodera       |
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          This bill does not meet the criteria for referral to the  
          Suspense File.




          Bill  
          Summary:  AB 794 would expand the criminal acts against animals  
          used by, or under the supervision of, a peace officer to include  
          offenses against animals used by volunteers acting under the  
          direct supervision of a peace officer, as specified.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
           Likely minor, if any, state costs (General Fund) for felony  
            convictions resulting in new commitments to state prison. Data  
            from the CDCR indicates only two commitments to state prison  
            over the past four years for this offense against animals used  
            by peace officers. Violations against animals used by  
            volunteers acting under the supervision of a peace officer are  
            estimated to be even less likely.
           Potential increase in non-reimbursable local enforcement and  







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            incarceration costs (Local Funds) offset to a degree by fine  
            revenue for new jail felony and misdemeanor convictions. 


          Background:  Existing law makes it a crime to willfully and maliciously and  
          with no legal justification injure a horse being used by, or any  
          dog under the supervision of, any peace officer in the discharge  
          or attempted discharge of his or her duties. If the injury  
          inflicted is a serious injury, as defined, a person is subject  
          to imprisonment in county jail (or state prison if the defendant  
          has a prior serious or violent felony conviction) for 16 months,  
          two or three years, or in a county jail for up to one year, a  
          fine of up to $2,000, or both the fine and imprisonment. If the  
          injury is not a serious injury, the person is subject to  
          imprisonment in county jail for up to one year, or by a fine of  
          up to $1,000, or by both the fine and imprisonment. (Penal Code  
          (PC)  600(a).)
          Existing law also makes it a crime punishable by imprisonment in  
          a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding  
          $1,000, or by both a fine and imprisonment, to willfully and  
          maliciously and with no legal justification interfere with or  
          obstruct a horse or dog being used by a peace officer in the  
          discharge or attempted discharge of his or her duties by  
          frightening, teasing, agitating, harassing, or hindering the  
          horse or dog. (PC  600(b).)


          Under existing law, a defendant convicted of a violation of PC   
          600 is required to make restitution to the agency owning the  
          animal and employing the peace officer for any veterinary bills,  
          replacement costs of the animal if it is disabled or killed, and  
          the salary of the peace officer for the period of time his or  
          her services are lost to the agency. (PC  600(e).)


          This bill seeks to extend similar protections to animals used by  
          volunteers acting under the direct supervision of a peace  
          officer, as specified.




          Proposed Law:  
           This bill would extend the criminal acts pursuant to PC  600  








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          against animals used by, or under the supervision of, a peace  
          officer, to include similar offenses against animals used by a  
          volunteer who is acting under the direct supervision of a peace  
          officer in the discharge or attempted discharge of his or her  
          assigned volunteer duties. 
          Additionally, this bill expands the restitution requirements for  
          defendants convicted of those offenses to include restitution to  
          a volunteer who is acting under the direct supervision of a  
          peace officer who is using his or her horse or supervising his  
          or her dog in the performance of his or her assigned duties, or  
          to the individual or agency that provides veterinary health care  
          coverage or veterinary care for a horse or dog being used by, or  
          under the supervision of, a volunteer who is acting under the  
          direct supervision of a peace officer for any veterinary bills  
          or replacement costs of the animal if it is disabled or killed.




          Prior  
          Legislation:  AB 667 (Smyth) 2007 would have increased the  
          penalties for willfully and maliciously injuring a horse or dog  
          used by a peace officer in his or her duties, as specified. This  
          bill was referred to but not heard in the Assembly Committee on  
          Public Safety.


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