Misdemeanor Based Upon Degree of Injury Caused by Attacking Dog

A dog owner can be convicted of a high level misdemeanor in states that base conviction upon the degree of injury inflicted upon the victim of an unjustified dog attack. For example, Pennsylvania’s Dog Law provides that even merely negligent conduct on the part of a dog owner can result in a first degree misdemeanor conviction if the consequence was the severe injury or death of a person. (See Pennsylvania.) The penalty for such a crime can be a prison sentence of up to five years. (Pennsylvania Crimes Code, section 106 (Classes of Offenses).