Forrest Williams are specialist dog law solicitors. We are experienced in all areas of criminal dangerous dog law.
This is a complex and niche area of law that often sees people of impeccable character in criminal proceedings because of the behaviour, or anticipated behaviour, of their beloved pet dog.
Prosecutions under Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 are the most common proceedings that clients find themselves facing.
Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 applies to all dogs across England and Wales, regardless of size, breed or pedigree. It encompasses the offence of a dog being dangerously out of control in a public place, and the charge can be brought against the owner and/or person in charge of the dog at the time.
Dangerously out of control is legally defined as meaning:
“on any occasion on which there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will injure any person or assistance dog”
The assumption tends to be that any time a person or assistance dog is bitten, the dog was dangerously out of control. It is for your dog law solicitors to rebut this presumption, and it is vital that you choose strong, pro-active dangerous dogs solicitors because where an injury is caused, the presumption is in favour of the dog being destructed.
As well as the risk of the dog being destructed, the owner or person in charge of the dog at the time of the incident can be sentenced to a lifetime ban on keeping dogs, and a custodial sentence of up to 5 years where injury is caused, and up to 14 years where a person is killed.
Under Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 or Section 4(b) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, several breeds are classified as being unlawful to possess. These are:
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino
- Dila Braziliero
Dogs believed to be one of these breeds can be seized while a police expert examines the animal to confirm breed. Our dog law solicitors work with our own team of experts who will undertake their own review of your pet’s breed and also behaviour, and help you prove to the Corut that your dog is not a danger to public safety. If satisfied, your pet will be added to the index of exempted dogs and returned to you.