Charged on Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act?

Dogs Dangerously Out of Control – Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act

If you’ve come to this site, there’s a very real chance that your dog is in trouble under Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Most dog owners in this country know very little about this act – and that’s probably how it should be!

Nobody wants to suddenly come up against a charge like this, and in the unfortunate event that you do, it can take some time before you’re ready to deal with it.

That’s where we come in.

As specialists in the Dangerous Dogs Act and related legislation, we’re here to help. Nothing makes us happier than helping you reunite with your beloved pet – you can see why from some of the videos and photos we have of our successes.

Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act

Under section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act an owner, or a person in charge of a dog, commits an offence if they are in a public place and a person is scared that their dog is about to cause them injury.
No criminal intent or recklessness is required for liability to arise in cases under section 3 as a result a person can therefore be guilty of an offence even if their dog was on a lead and had never behaved in such a way before.

If no injury is caused the case will be heard in the magistrates’ court the maximum penalty should you be found guilty of the offence is 6 months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000. The court also has the power to order the dog to be destroyed or kept under control.

If your dog causes injury to a person, or an assistance dog, such as a guide dog, then this is called an aggravating factor. The injury does not have to be a bite it can be a scratch or a bruise. The aggravated offence can be dealt with in both the magistrates court and the crown court

The guidelines are as follows:

  • Injury to an assistance dog – maximum sentence 3 years’ imprisonment
  • Injury to a person – maximum sentence 5 years’ imprisonment
  • Death of a person – maximum sentence 14 years’ imprisonment

You could also be ordered to pay a fine and/or compensation and the court have the power to disqualify you from keeping dogs.

Where an aggravated offence is committed, the court will order the dog to be destroyed unless it is satisfied that you are a suitable owner and that the dog does not pose a risk to the public. Expert evidence from qualified animal behaviourist is usually required on this point.