Understanding Liability in Dog Bites: Can You Get Arrested if Your Dog Bites Someone?

Posted by: admin Category: Uncategorized Comments: 0


Owning a dog comes with a range of responsibilities, including ensuring that your pet does not pose a danger to others. However, despite taking precautions, dog bites can still occur, leading to legal implications for the owner. One common question that arises in such situations is whether the owner can be arrested if their dog bites someone. This article explores the legal framework surrounding dog bites, potential liabilities for owners, and the circumstances under which legal action, including arrest, may occur.

Not Guilty Bail Bonds offers best bail bonds services in Texashelps you very well, and is the fastest growing bail bonds processing agency for domestic violence cases in the northeast Dallas area.

Legal Responsibility of Dog Owners

In many jurisdictions, dog owners are held legally responsible for the actions of their pets, including any injuries caused by bites. This legal principle, known as “strict liability,” holds regardless of whether the owner was aware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies. As a result, if a person is bitten by a dog, the owner may be held liable for damages, medical expenses, and other losses suffered by the victim.

Do you need Bail bonds in Collin County? Our Bondsman helps an inmate get released from Texas jails. Call us today: GREENVILLE, TX(903) 527-5252 , MCKINNEY, TX(469) 714-0404 and SULPHUR SPINGS(903) 438-8900.

Civil Liability vs. Criminal Charges

It’s crucial to distinguish between civil liability and criminal charges concerning dog bites. Civil liability typically involves compensating the victim for damages resulting from the bite, such as medical bills and lost wages. On the other hand, criminal charges may be pursued by law enforcement if the dog owner’s actions are deemed to be criminally negligent or intentional.

Factors Influencing Criminal Charges

Several factors can influence whether a dog owner faces criminal charges following a biting incident:

  1. Severity of the Injury: If the dog bite results in severe injuries or death, law enforcement may be more inclined to pursue criminal charges against the owner.
  2. Prior Incidents: Previous instances of the dog displaying aggressive behavior or biting others may increase the likelihood of criminal charges.
  3. Provocation: If the victim provoked the dog or trespassed onto the owner’s property, it could affect the determination of criminal liability.
  4. Owner’s Actions: Law enforcement will assess whether the owner took reasonable precautions to prevent the dog from biting, such as using a leash or muzzle in public places.

Potential Criminal Charges

Depending on the circumstances, dog owners may face various criminal charges related to a biting incident:

  1. Misdemeanor Charges: In less severe cases, owners may be charged with misdemeanors, such as “dangerous dog” violations or leash law infractions.
  2. Felony Charges: In cases involving severe injuries or repeated offenses, owners could face felony charges, including reckless endangerment or even manslaughter if the victim dies as a result of the bite.

Arrest and Legal Proceedings

If law enforcement determines that criminal charges are warranted, the dog owner may be arrested and taken into custody. Subsequently, legal proceedings will follow, including arraignment, bail hearings, and potentially a trial if the case proceeds to court.

During these proceedings, the owner will have the opportunity to present a defense, which may include demonstrating lack of negligence, disputing the severity of the injuries, or arguing that the victim provoked the dog. Legal representation is crucial during this process to ensure that the owner’s rights are protected and to mount a robust defense against the charges.

Preventing Dog Bites

To avoid legal complications and ensure the safety of others, dog owners should take proactive measures to prevent biting incidents:

  1. Training and Socialization: Proper training and socialization can help reduce the likelihood of aggressive behavior in dogs.
  2. Supervision: Dogs should be supervised when interacting with others, especially children or unfamiliar individuals.
  3. Secure Enclosures: Secure fencing and gates can prevent dogs from escaping and potentially biting others.
  4. Responsible Ownership: Owners should be aware of their dog’s behavior and take appropriate precautions, such as using leashes and muzzles when necessary.


While dog ownership can be rewarding, it also comes with significant responsibilities, including preventing dog bites and potential legal consequences if an incident occurs. Understanding the legal framework surrounding dog bites, including civil and criminal liabilities, is essential for owners to mitigate risks and ensure the safety of others. By taking proactive measures and adhering to local regulations, dog owners can minimize the likelihood of their pets biting someone and facing legal repercussions, including arrest and criminal charges.

We are giving service 24/7, contact our MCKINNEY, bail bondsman at (469) 714-0404 and learn more about our services and find out how we can assist you in your critical time.

Want to get out of jail fast?

Call Not Guilty Bail Bonds Now!

Get a free initial consultation right now