Dog Owner Faces Murder Charge
What can only be described as a tragic and horrendous event made headlines across the country in November. The tragic story began with a mother walking to a local elementary school in Detroit, Michigan, with her four-year-old son; she was on her way to volunteer at the school. En route to the school, she and her boy were attacked by a pack of pit bull dogs.
There were four dogs in total, and as they attacked, the mother tried to shield her son and fight off the dogs. But the dogs ripped the young child from the mother and dragged him under the fence to the yard where they lived. There, the dogs mauled and killed the boy before police could arrive. Once there, the police killed three of the dogs and later euthanized the fourth.
Dog Owner Charged
Following a short investigation of what happened, the police arrested the owner of the dog, and he was charged with murder by the county attorneys. The child’s family welcomed the murder charge and hope that the case will bring about change in the area. Now Detroit is debating the issue of dangerous dogs, and whether they should adopt a ban on certain breeds like other jurisdictions. For now the dog’s owner is facing charges that will impact him for the rest of his life.
Such charges are not new in our criminal justice system. In fact, a San Francisco woman was charged with murder arising from a fatal 2001 mauling of her neighbor by two Presa Canarios that she and her husband were keeping for a San Quentin inmate. That case is pending before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the court appears to be split on whether to uphold the conviction. It is not clear whether such charges could be filed and upheld under Florida law. But keeping certain dog breeds in the Miami-Dade area could land you or a loved one in trouble with the law.
Miami-Dade County Pit Bull Laws
Known as the anti-Pit Bull law, it is illegal for anyone in the Miami-Dade county to own or keep certain types of breeds. Those breeds that are illegal in the county are:
- American Pit Bull Terriers;
- American Staffordshire Terriers;
- Staffordshire Bull Terriers; and,
- Any dog breed that is substantially like those above.
Breaking the county ordinance above could result in a $500 fine, but there a dog owner could face more problems than that. Keeping an illegal animal in an obvious area on private property would bring attention from the police, and give them a reason to investigate the owner and property itself.
Once a police officer has reasonable suspicion to investigate somebody for one crime, that opens a suspect up to the wrong kind of attention. And if the police begin an investigation for one reason, that could lead to an investigation of an entirely different sort. Prevention is always the best course of action to avoid any kind of criminal investigation.
If You Think You Need a Lawyer, You Do. Call NOW!!
Please contact Attorney Tony Moss at the Tony Moss Firm, L.L.C. to discuss your illegal dog issue, or any other legal predicament you find yourself in. He has offices located in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and is prepared to put his 27 years of experience to work for you.