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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 ?

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 .

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Attorney answers 7

Posted

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 provide some helpful insight into your particular situation, but it should not be taken as legal advice. If you would like to discuss your Georgia Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, or Criminal case, I am happy to discuss your specific situation with you at no cost to you. I can be reached at 404-996-5157 or Fareesh@SarangiLaw.com. If you found this Answer "Helpful" or " The Best Answer", please click the tab indicating that. Thank you!

Asker

Posted

First let me say thank you for answering so quickly. We are renters and dont have homeowners insurance but I plan to get a lawyer involved because we have no idea where to begin in the morning we are going to take the dog to be quarantined for 10 days but animal control told us we were suppose to get the dogs rabies shot at 4 months this was news to us because we have systematically gotten our dogs rabies vaccination at 1 year at the same vet maybe we have been advised wrong from the beginning. Although I am very concern about my neighbors kid we dont want to let a pet get us in jail we have children also. I'm terrified of that. Do you know the normal procedure?

Fareesh S. Sarangi

Fareesh S. Sarangi

Posted

Unfortunately I don't defend many of these cases, but at least one attorney who responded does. I wouldn't worry about jail though. You're facing financial punishment only right now

Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

We had no prior knowledge of him being a biter every dog barks. i have owned several dogs in the past but never one that would bite. We take them to the vet and no one is a stranger. They have even been raised with a cat and nothing. This guy is a barker and he even barks when the door bell rings or someone pulls in the drive. We keep them in the house mainly to keep them from catching flees or being bothered by other animals roaming around our neighborhood. But like I said I want keep a bitter in the house with my own kids so he must go. Sad to say but .... you know.. I know how the other parents feel.

Posted

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 communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.

Glen Edward Ashman

Glen Edward Ashman

Posted

Let me add that you don't say if you rent or own. If you rent, renter's insurance will provide you protection for the civil case. The couple hundred dollars it cost may save you thousands in legal fees.

Asker

Posted

Sorry about the typo the auto correct on the cell phone doesnt recognize Nolo i assume that's where the mistake is. And thanks for the advice.

Posted

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 . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.

Posted

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-client relationship has been created hereby. Other attorneys may have different opinions or responses. If you found this response helpful, please indicate that to Avvo. Thank you.

Posted

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.

Posted

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.

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