Dangerous Dog Offences

Ownership of a dog as a pet can be a very rewarding experience for both the dog and the owner.

However, if you own a dog in NSW there should be some legal consequences and liabilities that you must be aware of.



The law that covers criminal liability for dogs is contained in the Companion Animals Act 1998 (NSW).

Some of the liabilities are:

  1. You could face a maximum penalty of $11,000 if your dog rushes to, attack, bite, harass or chase another animal whether any injury is caused.

The penalty can apply even if you are not present and will increase if you own a dog classified as dangerous or restricted.

Restricted or Dangerous dogs include:

  • American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier,
  • Japanese tosa,
  • Dogo Argentino,
  • Fila Brasileiro,
  • (d1) any other dog of a breed, kind or description whose importation into Australia is prohibited by or under the Customs Act 1901 of the Commonwealth,
  • any dog declared by an authorised officer of a council under Division 6 of this Part to be a restricted dog,
  • any other dog of a breed, kind or description prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section.
  1. The penalties increase if it is proven that a dog has attacked on your command or with your encouragement. Increasing to $22,000 and/or 2 years imprisonment where the ‘attack’ resulted from a ‘reckless act or omission’ by the dog’s owner, or by a person in charge of the dog.
  1. Encouraging a dog to attack will also attract a a maximum penalty of $22,000 for anyone who ‘sets on or urges a dog’ to attack, bite, harass or chase any person or animal (other than vermin)
  1. You may also be permanently disqualified from owning a dog or overseeing dog in future.
  1. Your dog may also be destroyed. The Companion Animals Act states that a 'destruction order' can be made if a person is convicted of any of the following offences:
  • Section 16 - dog attack,
  • Section 17 - encourage to attack
  • Section 49 - fail to comply with Control Order or Destruction Order
  • Section 51 - owner of dangerous dog that does not comply with 'control requirements'
  • Section 56 - owner of restricted dog that does not comply with control requirements, or
  • Section 35A of the Crimes Act NSW (1900) - causing dog to inflict grievous bodily harm or actual bodily harm



In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a Dangerous Dog Offences charge.

  • Full time Imprisonment
  • Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)
  • Community Correction Order (CCO)
  • Conditional release Order (CRO) (ie: bond); and/or
  • Fine



Some of the possible defences can include:

  • If you were compelled to act in a certain way due to the circumstances, or the threats of another you may be able to argue “Duress”;
  • If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring, you may have the defence of “Necessity”;
  • If you were defending yourself or another OR yours or another’s property you may have a Defence of “Self-Defence”



For Dangerous Dog Offences/orders or notices, Rep-Revive Criminal  Lawyers® offers the following options:

  1. We initiate negotiation with prosecutors (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) and plead to withdrawal or downgrade of the charge or alternatively, seek amendments to the police fact sheets or documents.
  2. At the hearing/trial, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® shall if you so instruct Plead Not Guilty and drive the argument based on prosecution’s inability to prove the elements of their accusation.
  3. Alternatively, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® may plead guilty on your instructions however, the hearing shall revolve around the facts with an objective to obtain a moderate or minimum punishment.
  4. Lastly, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® on your instructions enter a plea of guilt where you accept all the charges pressed by the police, but we present a case so solid on your behalf, with an objective to persuade and convince the Court to not record a criminal conviction against you.

For further information on your choices at law click on (CHOICES AT LAW tab on our website)



There are several reasons to engage Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers®:

  •  We are always in your corner

At Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® we understand the gravity of a criminal charge on your reputation. Thus, we work with the utmost diligence and fervour to restore any dints to our client’s repute. We fight for your rights and liberty earnestly, and for the best results, irrespective of the intensity of the matter. All these factors have made us known in the industry as always being in our client’s corner. 

  •  We bring about excellent results

Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® is driven by positive outcomes and defend your case with skills which have been sharpened by years of experience. You will be dealing with lawyers who are proficient at their craft and will defend your case with rigour and an aim to have the matter withdrawn, downgraded, dismissed or the minimal penalty available at law imposed.

Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® are adept in all forms of advocacy and will present your case in the most skilful manner in Court. 

  • Your case will be in the hands of an experienced lawyer

Irrespective of your decision in deciding the course of the case, you will be supported and guided by Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® who have been in the provision of legal service for over 21 years. 

If you are caught up in this charge our team at Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® are best suited for representing your case.

Please contact our office on 0419 998 398 or 0492 857 721 or email info@rpr5.sydney for more information. The first consultation is free.

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