Code of the District of Columbia

§ 8–1906. Penalties.

(a) An owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog who violates the provisions of § 8-1904 or § 8-1905 shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and be subject to a fine not to exceed $500, imprisonment not to exceed 90 days, or both for a first offense, and a fine not to exceed $1,000, imprisonment not to exceed 90 days, or both for a second or subsequent offense. Prosecutions for violations of § 8-1904 or § 8-1905 pursuant to this subsection shall be brought in the name of the District of Columbia in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

(b) An owner of a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog that causes serious injury to or kills a human being or a domestic animal without provocation shall be fined up to $10,000.

(c) A violation of this chapter shall be a civil infraction for purposes of Chapter 18 of Title 2. Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as sanctions for any infraction of the provisions of this chapter, or the rules issued under authority of this chapter, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2. Adjudication of any infractions shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.

(d) The fines set forth in this section shall not be limited by § 22-3571.01.


(Oct. 18, 1988, D.C. Law 7-176, § 7 (a)-(c), 35 DCR 4787; Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 105(f), 55 DCR 9186; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 113(b), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1021.6.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-281 rewrote subsec. (a); and, in subsec. (b), substituted “potentially dangerous or dangerous dog” for “dangerous dog”. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “(a) An owner of a dangerous dog who violates the provisions of §§ 8-1904 and 8-1905 shall be fined up to $300 for the first offense and up to $500 for each subsequent offense.”

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 added (d).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(f) of the Pit Bull and Rottweiler Dangerous Dog Designation Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-257, April 16, 1996, 43 DCR 2156).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 3(g) of the Dangerous Dog Designation Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-351, August 12, 1996, 43 DCR 4553).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 113(b) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.