Kristina Bergsten

Colorado’s Dog Bite and Aggressive Animal Statutes

There are many dog bite statutes in Colorado and our animal lawyers know these statutes inside and out.

There is the criminal dog bite statute: Colorado Revised Code § 18-9-204.5; and the civil dog bite statute: Colorado Revised Code § 13-21-124. Then, there are all the individual city ordinances on dog bites and aggressive dogs. For purposes of this blog, I will focus on just the state statutes. For more individualized information related to a city ordinance, call us today.

The criminal aggressive dog/dog bite statute contains everything you need to know about what may happen to your dog when accused of biting another person or dog. If your dog was impounded, you only have 10 days to contest the impound and if you do not, you could lose your dog before the criminal process even gets started! You will often hear the prosecutor say that the criminal statute is a strict liability statute, but I obtained a ruling that the owner has to have prior notice of the dog’s aggressive or dangerous propensities in order to be convicted under this statute. That prior knowledge, or mens rea, is extremely important in a criminal case, so call our Colorado animal lawyers today to let us help you if you are facing criminal charges for unlawful ownership of a dangerous dog!

The civil statute is different than the criminal statute. Civil statutes can be used as a basis to sue you under codified elements (i.e., specific things the plaintiff has to prove). If your dog is accused of biting another dog or person, you can be sued for money damages. Civil lawsuits can be complicated and aggressive, threatening your home and/or your assets. There is a wide variety of case law that provides potential defenses to you and your pup. It is best to have an experienced animal attorney represent you in your defense.

Call our pet attorneys today at 303-623-4000 for a free 30 minute consultation to find out how we can help you!

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