The debate is back on in the Michigan Legislature over whether to pass a law preventing local governments from banning breed-specific dogs. The main breed which has always been at issue is the pit bull. The way most people view the debate on breed-specific bans usually coincides with how they view pit bulls. Usually if you like pit bulls or are a pit bull owner, you are against local governments being able to ban them. If you are afraid of what pit bulls are capable of, then you are for local governments being able to ban them. New legislation has been proposed to prevent any Michigan community from banning dogs based on their breed.
House Bill 4035 Explained
This proposed legislation has been sponsored by Rep. Jim Ellison (D) out of Royal Oak. It is titled House Bill 4035 and it seeks to keep local governments from enacting any law banning the ownership of a dog based on its breed. This bill would also prevent any policy that deems any specific breed of dog as a dangerous animal. The bill does not prevent communities from passing and enforcing restrictions or requirements on dogs and/or their owners. Communities would still be allowed to regulate dogs that are determined to be dangerous based on factors other than breed.
Currently, the proposed bill is being heard by the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committees. Before it becomes law, the bill has to pass both the Michigan House of Representatives and the Michigan Senate, and be signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Current Cities With Dog Breed Bans
The main dog breed that these bans affect are Pit Bulls. Below is a list of cities that have pit bull bans:
• Bessemer Township
• Grosse Pointe Woods
• Highland Park
• Sylvan Lake
• Tawas City
• Waterford Township
• West Branch
There are numerous other cities that have enacted all sorts of restrictions and requirements for the ability to legally own a pit bull. A common requirement is the requirement of insurance that will cover any victim of a pit bulls attack.
You Can Be Held Responsible For Your Dogs Actions
Did you know you could be held criminally responsible for your dog’s actions? It is entirely possible to not only end up with a misdemeanor or felony conviction, but you could also end up in jail! For a dog owner to be held criminally responsible for the actions of his or her dog the first thing that has to happen is that the dog has to meet specific requirements to be considered a “dangerous animal.” A “dangerous animal” is a dog or other animal that bites or attacks a person or another dog. The dog also has to either be on the owner’s property or under the control of the owner. If the dog kills a person then the owner can be found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. If the dog causes injuries, then the owner can be charged with a felony for serious injuries and a misdemeanor for less serious injuries.
Note: If the dog bites someone who is knowingly trespassing, or bites someone who is attacking or provoking the dog they will not be considered a “dangerous animal.”
Any Further Questions?
If you are being investigated or have been charged over the alleged actions of your dog, then it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. While most dog bite cases are usually the type that lawsuits are filed over; there do exist specific situations where criminal charges can come into play for dog owners. At Grabel & Associates, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully defending criminal cases all over the state of Michigan. We are not a general practice firm. We are a team of criminal defense attorneys; it’s all we do. We offer a FREE consultation to anyone with questions relating to a possible or existing criminal charge against them or a loved one. Feel free to contact us on our 24/7 defense line at 1-800-342-7896. You can also contact us online or come visit us at one of our three statewide locations. We can also come to you.