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If I plead guilty to dog at large with bite charge am I then admitting guilt for the bite?

Flagstaff, AZ |

My dog was in a fight with another dog and the other dog's owner got bitten. I have a few reasons to believe that it is uncertain which dog bit him. If I plead guilty, will I still be able to talk to the judge about the uncertainty of which dog bit him?

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Attorney answers 6


Check with a local personal injury attorney about admissibility of pleas in civil actions. Also, turn the personal injury claim over to your homeowner's insurance carrier.


Pleading guilty is admitting the wrong; at least as far as I know.

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff


You need to speak with an attorney. If you have homeowner's or renters insurance, your insurance company should provide one. If you do not have such insurance see a lawyer before you do anything!

The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


When I did criminal law years ago, I advised my clients to plead NOT GUILTY!


Pleading guilty to that specific charge will likely prevent you from contesting the claim of the bite in a civil case. It's a res judicata issue - admitting the bite in one court conclusively resolves the factual question of the bite in all other courts in the future. But why plead guilty to that charge if there is doubt as to which dog bit? That's reasonable doubt.


Well, I would certainly not plead Guilty to the charge. Bear in mind, in the State of Arizona, as it relates to dog bites, there is strict liability to the owner. If you plead Guilty, you are certainly exposing yourself. See the assistance of a qualified attorney immediately.

John E. Kelly, Esq.
1 East Washington Street, Suite 500
Phoenix, Arizona 85004
(602) 283-4122

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