Texas Penal Code 21.09 – Bestiality
WHAT IS BESTIALITY IN TEXAS?
Bestiality is engaging in any sexual act with an animal, which is a felony in Texas.
WHAT IS THE BESTIALITY LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 21.09. BESTIALITY.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly:
(1) engages in an act involving contact between:
(A) the person’s mouth, anus, or genitals and the anus or genitals of an animal; or
(B) the person’s anus or genitals and the mouth of the animal;
(2) fondles or touches the anus or genitals of an animal in a manner that is not a generally accepted and otherwise lawful animal husbandry or veterinary practice, including touching through clothing;
(3) causes an animal to contact the seminal fluid of the person;
(4) inserts any part of a person’s body or any object into the anus or genitals of an animal in a manner that is not a generally accepted and otherwise lawful animal husbandry or veterinary practice;
(5) possesses, sells, transfers, purchases, or otherwise obtains an animal with the intent that the animal be used for conduct described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4);
(6) organizes, promotes, conducts, or participates as an observer of conduct described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4);
(7) causes a person to engage or aids a person in engaging in conduct described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4);
(8) permits conduct described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4) to occur on any premises under the person’s control;
(9) engages in conduct described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4) in the presence of a child younger than 18 years of age; or
(10) advertises, offers, or accepts the offer of an animal with the intent that the animal be used in this state for conduct described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4).
(b) An offense under this section is a state jail felony, unless the offense is committed under Subsection (a)(9) or results in serious bodily injury or death of the animal, in which event the offense is a felony of the second degree.
(c) It is an exception to the application of this section that the conduct engaged in by the actor is a generally accepted and otherwise lawful animal husbandry or veterinary practice.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR BESTIALITY IN TEXAS?
If the animal suffers death or serious bodily injury, bestiality is a second degree felony, punishable by two to 20 years in prison. If the animal does not suffer serious bodily injury or death, bestiality is a state jail felony, punishable by 180 to two years in a state jail facility.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR BESTIALITY IN TEXAS?
The punishment range for bestiality, a state jail felony, is 180 days to two years in a state jail facility, and up to a $10,000 fine. If the animal suffers serious bodily injury or death, the punishment range for second degree bestiality is two to 20 years in prison, and a maximum $10,000 fine.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR BESTIALITY IN TEXAS?
As an alternative to prison, a person is eligible for probation upon a conviction, or deferred adjudication without a conviction. The term of community supervision for a state jail felony bestiality charge ranges between two and five years, with a possibility of extending it to ten years. For bestiality charged as a second degree felony, the period of probation or deferred adjudication may not exceed ten years.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO BESTIALITY IN TEXAS?
The bestiality statute carves out an exception for people who legally breed animals, or practice veterinary medicine. This means a person may engage is breeding and medical practices without being charged with bestiality, unless the sexual contact consists of the person penetrating the animal for their own sexual gratification, and vice versa.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR BESTIALITY IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for bestiality, whether charged as a second degree or state jail felony, is three years.
BESTIALITY IN TEXAS
The Texas bestiality statute prohibits any inappropriate sexual contact with an animal, but specifically excepts legal breeders and veterinarians engaging in their respective practices.
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Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.
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Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.
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Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.
Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.
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Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.
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Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.
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