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Introduced Version Senate Bill 178 History

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Senate Bill No. 178

(By Senators K. Facemyer, Jenkins, D. Facemire and Sypolt)

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[Introduced January 13, 2012; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §61-2-10b of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to making it unlawful to harm, or attempt to harm, a police dog; defining a term; and creating penalties.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §61-2-10b of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

ARTICLE 2. CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON.

§61-2-10b. Malicious assault; unlawful assault; battery; and assault on governmental representatives, health care providers, emergency medical service personnel and police dogs; definitions; penalties.

    (a) For purposes of this section:

    (1) “Government representative” means any officer or employee of the state or a political subdivision thereof, or a person under contract with a state agency or political subdivision thereof.

    (2) “Health care worker” means any nurse, nurse practitioner, physician, physician assistant or technician practicing at, and all persons employed by or under contract to a hospital, county or district health department, long-term care facility, physician’s office, clinic or outpatient treatment facility.

    (3) “Emergency service personnel" means any paid or volunteer firefighter, emergency medical technician, paramedic, or other emergency services personnel employed by or under contract with an emergency medical service provider or a state agency or political subdivision thereof.

    (4) “Police dog” means a dog trained for use in police work.

    (b) Malicious assault. -- Any person who maliciously shoots, stabs, cuts or wounds or by any means causes bodily injury with intent to maim, disfigure, disable or kill a government representative, health care worker or emergency service personnel acting in his or her official capacity, or a police dog under the control of a law-enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity, and the person committing the malicious assault knows or has reason to know that the victim is acting in his, or her or its official capacity is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a correctional facility for not less than three nor more than fifteen years.

    (c) Unlawful assault. -- Any person who unlawfully but not maliciously shoots, stabs, cuts or wounds or by any means causes a government representative, health care worker or emergency service personnel acting in his or her official capacity, or a police dog under the control of a law-enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity, bodily injury with intent to maim, disfigure, disable or kill him, or her or it and the person committing the unlawful assault knows or has reason to know that the victim is acting in his, or her or its official capacity is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a correctional facility for not less than two nor more than five years.

    (d) Battery. -- Any person who unlawfully, knowingly and intentionally makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with a government representative, health care worker or emergency service personnel acting in his or her official capacity, or a police dog under the control of a law-enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity, or unlawfully and intentionally causes physical harm to that person or police dog acting in such capacity, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500 or confined in jail not less than one month nor more than twelve months or both fined and confined. If any person commits a second such offense, he or she is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned confined in a state correctional facility not less than one year nor more than three years, or both fined and imprisoned confined. Any person who commits a third violation of this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned confined in a state correctional facility not less than two years nor more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned confined.

    (e) Assault. -- Any person who unlawfully attempts to commit a violent injury to the person of a government representative, health care worker or emergency service personnel acting in his or her official capacity, or a police dog under the control of a law-enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity, or unlawfully commits an act which places that person or police dog acting in his, or her or its official capacity in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail for not less than twenty-four hours nor more than six months, fined not more than $200, or both fined and confined.




    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make it unlawful to harm, or attempt to harm, a police dog that is under the control of a law-enforcement officer who is acting in his or her official capacity. The bill also defines the term “police dog” and sets forth penalties.


    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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