My dog bit a seven year old girl next door I recieved 3 citations no rabies tag . no restraint and bite how should i plea ?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Lilburn, GA

I was told I could plea bolo , quilt , or not quilt . I feel so horrible about the incident I had no idea he would bite . He barks at everything but she screams every time she sees them and I don't know if that excited him or not but he charged she ran and he bit . 2 small punctures but he definitely broke the skin . He is 7 month old Pitt bull pup and he is a ruff player but never bit anyone . I don't think we going to keep him but just wandering legally where do we stand .

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Fareesh S. Sarangi

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The first thing you should do is report it to your insurance company. Most homeowner's policies cover dog bites, though a few specifically exclude pitbulls if you did not inform the insurance company of the dog when they wrote the policy. As far as the citation goes you should consult an attorney before you enter any plea because it will have an impact on your civil case if you get sued. Good luck.

    * Please note that I am an Attorney practicing in Georgia, but I am not your attorney. This post is intended to... more
  2. Robert G. Rothstein

    Contributor Level 14

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should consult a criminal attorney regarding how to plead your case since a guilty plea may affect the outcome of any civil case that might be filed against you on behalf of the victim. I hope you have homeowner's insurance and you should notify that insurance company or your agent, in writing, about the incident immediately.

    Law Offices of Robert G. Rothstein

    Disclaimer: This response is provided to you for educational and informational purposes only and no attorney-... more
  3. Henry David Bullard

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It sounds like you may have had actual or, by virtue of violating ordinances, per se knowledge of the dog's vicious propensities. You should turn this over to your homeowner's insurer immediately.

  4. Michael R Crosner

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree the the other counsel that you should report the incident to your homeowners insurance company. As for the plea you need to retain a criminal attorney who is familiar with the local court system. Every state has its own criminal statutes, and often individual judges and prosecutors have there own plea bargain standards. If you can't afford an attorney the court will provide a public defender or possibly a court appointed free private attorney. Do not even consider entering a plea without consulting an attorney.

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more
  5. Glen Edward Ashman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is no such thing as bolo, quilt and not quilt (I suspect you meant nolo, guilty and not guilty).

    The first thing you must do is call your homeowner's insurance. There is a some likelihood that you will be sued, and they will defend the civil case and pay damages. (They will likely also cancel your insurance going forward, and you will find, with a pit bull, that most insurers, who share information on claims, will refuse to cover you going forward).

    As for the criminal charges, meet with a lawyer. Some courts may enhance fines for what some consider to be a dangerous breed (pit bulls). How you plead also can affect any civil case.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to... more
  6. Allen Rust Knox

    Contributor Level 16

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . According to the facts, you may have a defense to one or more of these charges. However, even if there is no defense, you want to plea to these charges so as to not admit liability for a subsequent civil suit for damages by the child's parents. You need to retain counsel to advise you how to handle this case.

  7. Zachary Walter Procter

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If this occurred in Gwinnett County, you will most likely to before Judge Muise in Recorders Court to answer the citations. If this is the first time the dog bit someone, you will probably be facing a fine and will be ordered to pay for any medical bills. The judge will want to know what measures you are taking to make sure that the dog doesn't bite anyone in the future. She will want to hear about restraints (fence, etc) and training. Since this is a first bite, there should not be any worry about the dog being put down. You also need to worry about civil actions from the girl's parents who could sue you. Again, since you had no reason to know the dog would bite, you may have do defense to any lawsuit.

    I practice in Gwinnett Recorders Court on a regular basis and would be happy to talk to you about the case. My number is 678-636-9224.

Related Topics

Dog bites and injuries

The most common animal attacks are dog bites and other injuries caused by dogs. The owner is often held liable, although states vary regarding responsibility.

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