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Why A Lawyer Is Necessary When You are Accused of Failing to Control a Dangerous Animal in Los Angeles
Show That You Used Ordinary Care to Control Your Pet
One of the primary defenses against charges that you failed to control a dangerous animal is showing that you used ordinary care. This means you were taking reasonable steps to ensure that your animal was under control. Just saying the animal was on a leash or in a fenced yard is not enough. You need a Los Angeles attorney to explain how you exercised ordinary care over your pet within the context of the law. This could allow you to avoid any criminal charges.
Display You Had No Knowledge the Animal Was Dangerous
An important part of the prosecution case for failing to control a dangerous animal is showing that you had clear knowledge the pet was a threat. If you had no prior knowledge, then you did not have to treat your pet like a dangerous animal. A lawyer will know how to explore this issue in a meaningful way. Your attorney can attempt to gather evidence and even expert testimony to show that you had no reason to believe your animal was dangerous enough to harm someone else.
Question the Injuries of the Other Party
There are cases where people in Los Angeles attempt to fraudulently claim that an animal caused injuries just to receive monetary damages. An attorney will question the injuries of the other party. This means looking closely at the injuries to make certain they are consistent with the type of damage your pet would do. The lawyer will also check to see if the injuries are actually from the day of the alleged incident. It could be possible the injuries were from some other cause not related to your pet.
Defend Your Pet during Dangerous Dog Hearings
Los Angeles has a unique system where your pet could be brought before a special official for a dangerous dog hearing. This hearing can determine the fate of your pet. The animal could be returned to you, destroyed or held in custody indefinitely. You must have a lawyer present at one of these hearings. An experienced attorney can bring in experts and witnesses to show that your pet was not dangerous. This is very important if you want to keep your pet.
Examine the Actions of the Victim
Mitigating factors can play a large role in dangerous animal cases in Los Angeles. One of the most important factors is how the victim behaved. Your attorney will know the exact questions to ask to see if the victim had a part in the attack. Victims sometimes behave in ways that encourage the attack. If this is the case, then you and your animal might not be liable for the injuries. Your attorney will explore what the victim did thoroughly to ensure there were no mitigating factors in the incident.
Fight For the Lowest Charges or Penalties Possible
Failing to control a dangerous animal can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony in Los Angeles. Many cases are clearly one or the other. Cases that are not clearly defined are called wobblers. You should have an attorney present to fight for the lowest charges or penalties possible. A good law firm could negotiate the charges down to a misdemeanor. This means lower fines and possibly no time in jail. An attorney will be invaluable if your case is a wobbler in the courts.