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:

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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