Animals, whether pets or not, have the potential to harm us. Accordingly, Texas strictly regulates the care and control of animals to ensure public safety. When people violate certain animal codes, they can face criminal penalties. If you own animals, you should learn about your rights and responsibilities under law to minimize the chance of negative consequences due to mishandling. One of the most common examples of Texas animal code violations is the improper handling of vicious dogs.
Stories of dangerous dogs whose owners did not properly secure them often make the front page of the news. Dogs, in particular, have a tremendous potential for harm and can be very dangerous if not properly handled. Dog owners can even face criminal charges if he or she fails to adhere to Texas animal codes and the dog then harms someone. Not only will the owner face criminal charges, but also, in many cases, he or she will be ordered to put the dog down.
Defining Negligence in Texas Animal Code Violation Cases
Criminal negligence is a common element in these types of offenses. The court may find an animal owner criminally negligent if he or she should have known the degree of risk (substantial and unjustifiable) of the conduct and also fails to exercise a standard of care one could expect from a prudent and reasonable person given the magnitude of the risk. And when it comes to animals like dogs, failing to maintain that standard of care can result in the death or injury of an innocent person.
A good example of criminally negligent behavior with regards to dog handling is a person who, despite knowing about a dog’s history of attacks, allows that dog to be unleashed in a public area and that dog then attacks and injures someone. Unfortunately, this type of situation is not uncommon in Texas.
Now, just because your dog attacked someone doesn’t mean you were criminally negligent. Again, you need to have been or should have been aware of the risk. If you adopted a dog with a known violent streak and failed to take proper precautions, such as keeping it secured at all times, you could be found criminally negligent if you failed to exercise caution and let your dog roam free.
Know How to Navigate Your Case
If you are facing criminal charges for an animal code violation, you should speak with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. As an animal owner, you have certain obligations regarding the care and control of your animal. But your obligations are not unlimited. These cases sometimes hinge on factors like your animal’s history, your history as the animal’s owner and any prior animal code violations that arose from your control of the animal.
Find an attorney with experience handling these types of cases. If you were found criminally negligent by a criminal court, you would have little chance to fight a civil liability suit. And, again, the court may order the destruction of your dog. Thus, you need to work closely with an attorney to build a strong defense to your charges to minimize the negative consequences of your animal code violation.
If you’re facing charges for an animal code violation in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.