Dangerous Dog Offences
Dogs are valued pets, but sometimes, they can be unpredictable. If your dog acts dangerously, it’s vital you seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Whether you're in your neighbour's garden, a public space or even your own home, it's your responsibility to control your dog. No matter what breed you own, it's against the law to own a dog that acts dangerously.
When it comes to dangerous dog offences, it doesn’t matter if your dog is old or a puppy. It doesn’t matter if they’ve never behaved in that way before. And it doesn’t matter if the incident happened on private land. That’s why, all too often, dangerous dog cases can result in convictions that seem incredibly unfair.
Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, you could face charges you might not expect. For example, if your dog attacks a guide dog, you could be prosecuted for a hate crime. Or, if your dog upsets livestock, a farmer could be legally entitled to kill them.
With so many loopholes to navigate, speaking to a solicitor is essential. And with so much at stake, you’ll need to work with experienced lawyers who can create a strategy that succeeds in court.
At Slater Heelis, we have the expertise to make sure you and your dog receive the best legal protection available.
What is a dangerous dogs offence?
To be convicted of having a dangerous dog, no one has to be physically injured. While many cases do involve physical attacks, you could face legal action if anyone feels threatened by your dog, too.
To make matters more complicated, you don’t need to show criminal intent or recklessness to be convicted, either. Put simply, if you own a dog that acts dangerously or out of control, you’ve committed an offence – whether anybody was injured or not.
According to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, you could face a conviction if you:
- own a dog that acts dangerously out of control in any place where death is caused
- own a dog that acts dangerously out of control in any place where an injury is caused
- own a dog that acts dangerously out of control in any place where an assistance dog (like a guide dog) is injured or killed
- own a dog that acts dangerously out of control in any place
- own, breed, sell, exchange or advertising a prohibited dog.
What are the penalties for having a dangerous dog?
The penalties for having a dangerous dog can vary depending on the incident. If no injury occurred, the maximum penalty could be a fine of £5,000 or 6 months imprisonment – or both. However, for more severe incidents, you could face:
- an unlimited fine
- a custodial sentence of up to 6 months
- a ban from owning dogs in the future
- a dog destruction order
- control measures, such as a muzzle or a lead
- a compensation order to the victim
First class service, when you need it most
At Slater Heelis, we’re proud to deliver nothing less than exceptional service. From travelling to a location that suits you to ensuring our most senior solicitors work on your case, we do all we can to put you first.
Meet your Dangerous Dogs Offences solicitor
If you’ve been accused of having a dangerous dog, we’ll escalate your case to the head of our Private Crime team, Rachel Fletcher. With over 12 years of handling cases like yours, you can rest assured you’ll receive unparalleled legal advice.
members on 0161 969 3131