September 22, 2018

HB 16-1308: Establishing Criminal Penalties for Misrepresentation of a Service Animal

On March 2, 2016, Rep. Daniel Kagan and Sen. Linda Newell introduced HB 16-1308Concerning the Offense of Intentional Misrepresentation of a Service Animal. The bill was introduced in the House Judiciary Committee, where it was amended and referred to the House Committee of the Whole. The bill was amended on Second and Third Readings in the House and was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it was postponed indefinitely.

This bill creates the criminal offense of intentional misrepresentation of a service animal (referred to herein as “offense), which is committed if: (1) a person intentionally misrepresents an animal in his or her possession as a service animal (or service-animal-in-training) for the purpose of obtaining any of the rights or privileges granted by law to persons with disabilities; and (2) the person knows that the animal is question is not a service animal (or service-animal-in-training).

If convicted, the defendant must pay $33 plus: $350-$1,000 for a first offense; $600-$1,000 for a second offense; and $1,000-$5,000, plus community service, for a third offense.

A district court may order the conviction record sealed if: (1) the defendant files a petition and pays the filing fee; (2) the defendant’s first offense was at least three years prior to filing the petition; and (3) the defendant has not had a subsequent conviction for the offense.

Max Montag is a 2016 J.D. Candidate at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

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