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Criminal Penalties for Dog Bites

Dog Bite Attorney Serving Los Angeles

When a dog bite or dog attack occurs this may be grounds for criminal charges against the owner of the dog. Although the dog bite victim may take legal action against the dog owner in civil court, criminal charges and penalties will be handled as an entirely separate matter. Depending on the case and the jurisdiction, a person may face a variety of criminal charges associated with a dog attack:

  • First degree or second degree murder
  • Injury by a dog trained or ordered to attack
  • Using a dog as a deadly weapon
  • Injury by a dangerous dog
  • Failure to quarantine or confine an animal that is known to be extremely dangerous
  • Failure to produce an animal in a criminal investigation
  • Dog fighting
  • Criminal negligence in owning an aggressive dog or one that has attacked before
  • Animal abuse or mistreatment / cruelty to animals

In some situations, a person will purposefully abuse or train a dog in order to influence the dog's behavior. Some may say this is to train a dog to protect the owner, but if the owner does not have proper control of the dog or is negligent in handling a dog that is known to be dangerous, this may be grounds for criminal charges.

The criminal penalties that a dog owner may face in the event of a conviction will vary depending on the specific case, but may include incarceration in a county or state correctional facility, heavy fines, restitution to the victim or the victim's family, and more.

Learn more about dog bites as criminal actions and what you can do to seek and recover financial compensation for dog bite injuries in civil court. Contact a Los Angeles dog bite lawyer today.


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