Senate Research Center                                                                                                        S.B. 554

                                                                                                                                      By: Whitmire

                                                                                                                                   Criminal Justice







Currently, no law exists that provides that it is a criminal offense to possess dog-fighting equipment. 


S.B. 554 amends current law relating to conduct constituting the offense of dog fighting and to the criminal and civil consequences of committing that offense.




This bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, institution, or agency.




SECTION 1.  Amends Sections 42.10(a), (b), and (e), Penal Code, as follows:


(a)  Provides that a person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly engages in certain behaviors, including owning or possessing dog-fighting equipment with the intent that the equipment be used to train a dog for dog fighting or in furtherance of dog fighting.  Makes nonsubstantive changes.


(b)  Defines "dog-fighting equipment."  Makes  nonsubstantive changes.


(e)  Provides that an offense under Subsections (a)(4) (relating to owning or possessing dog-fighting equipment), (5) (relating to owning or training a dog for certain purposes), or (6) (relating to attending as a spectator a dog fighting exhibition) is a Class A misdemeanor.  Makes nonsubstantive changes.


SECTION 2.  Amends Section 71.02(a), Penal Code, to provide that a person commits an offense if, with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination or as a member of a criminal street gang, he commits or conspires to commit one or more of certain criminal actions, including any offense under Section 42.10 (Dog Fighting).  Makes nonsubstantive changes.


SECTION 3.  Amends and reenacts Article 59.01(2), Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by Chapters 127 (S.B. 1694), 822 (H.B. 73), and 885 (H.B. 2278), Acts of the 80th Legislature, Regular Session, 2007, to redefine "contraband." 


SECTION 4.  Amends Chapter 59, Code of Criminal Procedure, by adding Article 59.011, as follows:


Art. 59.011.  Authorizes the attorney representing the state, if property described by Article 59.01(2)(B)(x) (relating to the definition of contraband including any offense under Section 42.10, Penal Code) is subject to forfeiture under this chapter and Article 18.18 (Disposition of Gambling Paraphernalia, Prohibited Weapon, Criminal Instrument, and Other Contraband), to proceed under either provision.


SECTION 5.  Makes application of this Act prospective.  Provides that for purposes of this section, an offense was committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurred before that date.


SECTION 6.  Effective date:  September 1, 2009.