Dog Attack Criminal Liability
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Can I Go to Jail if my Dog Attacks Someone?
Under some circumstances a dog bite or attack can lead to more serious consequences than a mere warning or fine. The state and local laws vary, but in general:
- Where the victim dies, a dog owner can sometimes face homicide charges
- Where the dog was trained to kill, fight, or attack, the dog may be considered a deadly weapon
When Can a Dog Owner Face Homicide Charges?
Sometimes, a dog owner can be charged with murder or manslaughter when someone dies as a result of a dog attack. For example:When a dog owner knows that a dog is dangerous but still proceeds to allow it to run loose, the owner may be considered negligent or reckless. If the dog then attacks and kills a person, the owner may be tried for involuntary manslaughter.
In some cases, a dog owner may even be charged with murder when his dog kills someone. For example, where someone knows his dog is trained to kill people, but leaves a gate open when he knows children will be walking by, the dog owner may be charged with second degree murder.
When Can a Dog Owner Face Criminal Assault Charges?
A dog owner can also face criminal assault charges when his dog attacks another person. For example, a dog can be considered a deadly weapon, so you may be charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Are there Other Relevant Criminal Charges Involving Dogs?
Dog owners can face charges of destruction or concealment of evidence if they destroy or conceal a dog after it commits an attack.
Should I Contact an Attorney if My Dog Attacked Someone?
If your dog has killed or seriously injured another person, or if you own a dog that is known to be extremely dangerous or trained to kill, you should contact a criminal defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you prepare for any criminal charges that may be levied against you.
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Last Modified: 09-25-2013 04:44 PM PDT
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