Dog as a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon

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What is a Dangerous or Deadly Weapon?

A dangerous or deadly weapon can be defined as any instrument used in its ordinary manner that will or is likely to cause death or great bodily harm. Dangerous weapons not only include items that can cause serious bodily harm or death, but also include items used or displayed in a way that they reasonably appear capable of causing serious bodily injury or death. 

Can a Dog be Used as a Dangerous or Deadly Weapon?

Although a dog is not a deadly weapon per se, courts have increasingly held that a dog may be a deadly or dangerous weapon depending on the circumstances in which it was used.

How Does a Dangerous or Deadly Weapon Affect a Crime?

An offense such as assault, robbery, or homicide may be aggravated when they are committed with a deadly or dangerous weapon. Generally, the punishment for an aggravated crime becomes much more serious.  If a dog is determined to be dangerous or deadly and if used in a crime, then the dog's owner may get a much more serious punishment. 

What Factors are Considered To Determine Whether a Dog Was a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon?

A court will usually take a number of factors into consideration to determine whether a dog was a dangerous weapon. These include:

Should I Seek an Attorney If a Dog Is Involved in a Crime?

If you are injured by a vicious dog in the commission of a crime and want to sue the owner, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer immediately.  If you are charged with committing a crime that involved a deadly or dangerous dog, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure you rights are protected. 

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Last Modified: 08-26-2011 02:04 PM PDT

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