T.P.I. -- CRIM. 29.04

SNAKE OR REPTILE HANDLING

            Any person who displays, exhibits, handles, or uses a poisonous or dangerous snake or reptile in such a manner as to endanger the life or health of any person is guilty of a crime.

            For you to find the defendant guilty of this offense, the state must have proven beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of the following essential elements:1

            (1)  that the defendant did [(display) (exhibit) (handle) (use)] a

                   [(poisonous) (dangerous)] [(snake) (reptile)];

and

            (2)  that such [displaying] [exhibiting] [handling] [using] did endanger the

                   health of _____________________________________;

                                                  (name of person)

and

            (3)  that the defendant acted either intentionally, knowingly or recklessly.2

            "Intentionally" means that a person acts intentionally with respect to the nature of the conduct when it is the person's conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result.3

            "Knowingly" means that a person acts knowingly with respect to the conduct or to circumstances surrounding the conduct when the person is aware of the nature of the conduct or that the circumstances exist.  A person acts knowingly with respect to a result of the person's conduct when the person is aware that the conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result.4

            [The requirement of “knowingly” is also established if it is shown that the defendant acted intentionally.]0

            "Recklessly" means that a person acts recklessly with respect to circumstances surrounding the conduct or the result of the conduct when the person is aware of, but consciously disregards, a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur.  The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the accused person's standpoint.6

            [The requirement of “recklessness” is also established if it is shown that the defendant acted intentionally or knowingly.]0

            ["Dangerous" means attended with risk; perilous; hazardous; unsafe.]

            ["Poisonous" means containing any substance capable of destroying the action of the vital organs or of preventing the continuance of life.]8

FOOTNOTES

 1.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-101(a).

 2.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-11-301(b) and (c) and accompanying Sentencing

      Commission Comment.

 3.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-11-106(a)(18).

 4.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-11-106(a)(20).

 5.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-11-301(a)(2)

 6.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-11-106(a)(31).

  7.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-11-301(a)(2).

  8. This definition is derived from Black's Law Dictionary (5th Ed. 1979).

COMMENTS

            1.  A violation of this statute is a Class C misdemeanor.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-101(b).

            2.  If the definition of an offense within Title 39 does not plainly dispense with a mental element, intent, knowledge or recklessness suffices to establish the culpable mental state.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-11-301(c).  The Committee is of the opinion that the definitions of "intentionally", "knowingly", and "recklessly" should all be charged for this offense.



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