San Diego, CA asked in Animal / Dog Law for California

Q: I was at a hiking trail and before entering, they told me no dogs were allowed. When I explained it was a service dog

they let me in. When I started hiking, the park ranger stopped me and gave me a ticket for not having a dog license. I just got the dog from my friend to stay with me for a bit and didn’t know about dog licensing. I have to appear in court and I don’t know what the procedure will be like. The cop told me I have to plead guilty/not guilty but i’ve never been to court. What should I expect or do next?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Not knowing about dog licensing is not a defense to violating the law. If the dog wasn't yours, that might be a defense. You would have to look up the licensing ordinance to see what it says and whether it applies to you or just to the owner. If the dog is yours now, get it licensed. You might be able to convince the City Attorney/DA to treat it as a "fix it" ticket.

You might, however, face an upgrade in charges. It sounds like you were just taking care of the dog. If so, the dog wasn't a service dog to you, and you were violating whatever ordinances exist to exclude dogs from the trail.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.