Going to Court? Book Your Free First Appointment

Saved Pages

Save pages and articles you’re most interested in to read later on.


Section 33 Companion Animals Act 1998
Definition of Dangerous Dog

Section 33 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 contains the definition of ‘dangerous dog’ and is extracted below.

It is important to be aware that a ‘dangerous dog’ is not necessarily a dog that is dangerous.

It is a dog that has, without provocation, attacked, killed, repeatedly threatened to attack, displayed unreasonable aggression or even repeatedly chased a person or animal; other than vermin.

It even includes any dog kept for hunting – regardless of whether or not that dog is aggressive!

The definition is extremely broad and it can be difficult to show that your dog is not ‘dangerous’; especially if you were not present during the incident when your dog was alleged to have displayed such behaviour.

Sydney Criminal Lawyers® is Australia’s most experienced and successful firm in dealing with dangerous dog matters.

If you have received a ‘Notice of Intention to Declare Dog Dangerous’, we can write a ‘letter of objection’ to Council on your behalf requesting that they refrain from declaring your dog dangerous provided that you enter ‘written undertakings’; which are promises to act in a certain way eg always have your dog leashed when in public, undertake a course of behavioural training etc.

If you receive a ‘Dangerous Dog Declaration’, we can appeal that declaration to the Local Court and seek to negotiate ‘control orders’ in its place; which are orders similar to ‘undertakings’ but are endorsed by the court.

We believe that ‘dangerous dog declarations’ are inhumane, particularly the requirement that your dog must always remain in an approved enclosure unless he opr she is muzzled. What type of life is that for your dog?

We also believe that the penalties for failing to comply with dangerous dog obligations are too harsh.

If a dangerous dog ‘attacks’ (including ‘rushing at’ a person or animal), it will be seized and likely destroyed and the owner will be subjected to a life-long ban on owning any other dog and even the possibility of a prison sentence.

Our dangerous dog lawyers will use their vast experience:

  • Persuade Council not to go ahead with the dangerous dog declaration, or if the declaration has already been made
  • Persuade Council to revoke the declaration upon agreement of ‘Control Orders’, or if Council refuses
  • Persuade the Local Court to revoke the declaration and impose ‘Control Orders’ instead if necessary.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s leading dangerous dog lawyers, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today on (02) 9261 8881.

The Legislation

33 Meaning of “dangerous”

(1) For the purposes of this Division, a dog is “dangerous” if it:
(a) has, without provocation, attacked or killed a person or animal (other than vermin), or
(b) has, without provocation, repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal (other than vermin), or
(c) has displayed unreasonable aggression towards a person or animal (other than vermin), or
(d) is kept or used for the purposes of hunting.

(2) A dog is not, for the purposes of subsection (1) (d), to be regarded as being kept or used for the purposes of hunting if it is used only to locate, flush, point or retrieve birds or vermin. “Vermin” for the purposes of this subsection includes small pest animals only (such as rodents).

If a hunting dog is declared to be a dangerous dog, the declaration does not necessarily mean that the dog cannot be used for the purposes of lawful hunting–see section 51 (3).

Why Choose Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Going to court can be nerve-racking, but having a strong and compassionate legal team behind you can make the experience significantly easier to deal with. Here are 12 reasons to choose our multi-award winning legal team:

  1. Proven Track Record of Exceptional Results

    Sydney Criminal Lawyers® consistently achieves outcomes which are in the highest percentile of the Judicial Commission’s sentencing statistics for criminal cases.

    Our legal team devises effective case-strategies and fights hard to have cases dropped entirely or charges downgraded – saving clients the time, expense and stress of a defended hearing or jury trial.

    Where cases nevertheless proceed, our lawyers have an outstanding track record of winning defended Local Court hearings, and complex jury trials in the District and Supreme Courts.

    We also consistently win appeals in the District and Supreme Courts (including the NSWCCA) after clients have received unsatisfactory results with other law firms in the lower courts.We are one of the few firms to achieve successful criminal law appeals in the High Court of Australia.

    Where our clients wish to plead guilty, we frequently achieve ‘dismissals’ and ‘non convictions’ in cases where other lawyers have advised there is no chance of doing so.

  2. Highest Level of Client Satisfaction

    We have the best and most comprehensive client review record of any law firm in Australia.

    Regular communication, accessibility and quality service are our team’s highest priorities.

    We are committed to thoroughly explaining all steps involved in the criminal law process, providing regular updates throughout the proceedings, and making ourselves accessible and responsive.

    We are passionate about providing an exceptional level of service to our clients, and we fight hard to achieve optimal results in the shortest period of time.

  3. Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Law Firm

    We have received more awards and accolades than any other criminal law firm in Australia. Our team has been awarded “Criminal Defence Firm of the Year in Australia” in a number of prestigious and competitive awards programs for several years running.

    The awards recognise our exceptional track record of results, our outstanding client service, the high level of satisfaction we achieve, the affordability of our services and our overall excellence.

  4. Fixed Fees

    We want our clients to know exactly how much their cases will cost from the very start. That’s why we were the first criminal law firm in Australia to publish ‘fixed fees’, back in 2004.

    We offer fixed fees for most types of criminal cases and services.Our fixed fees apply to a range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, drug possession, fraud, common assault and AVOs, and also specific services such as prison visits, bail applications, appeals and defended hearings.

    Unlike many other law firms, our fixed fees are published on our website – which ensures transparency and certainty.

  5. Free First Appointment

    For those who are going to court, we offer a free first conference of up to an hour with one of our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers.

    We also offer a free first conference to those who have received an unsatisfactory result after being represented in court by another law firm, or after representing themselves, and wish to appeal.

  6. Specialist Lawyer Guarantee

    We guarantee that only lawyers with substantial criminal defence experience will work on your case and appear for you in court.

    This ensures our clients receive the highest quality representation from an experienced, specialist criminal lawyer.

  7. All NSW Courts

    From Bombala to Broken Hill, our lawyers appear in courts throughout New South Wales – and across Australia for Commonwealth cases.

    And we offer fixed fees for most criminal and traffic law cases throughout the state.

  8. Accredited Specialists

    Our entire firm is exclusively dedicated to criminal law – which makes us true specialists.

    All of our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in criminal cases, and our principal has been certified by the Law Society of NSW as an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist since 2005.

    An ‘Accredited Specialist’ is a lawyer who has practised for at least 5 years in a particular field of law (such as criminal law), has passed a rigorous assessment process conducted by the Law Society of NSW, and has been selected by the Specialist Accreditation Committee of the Law Society as an expert in the field.

    Accredited Specialists are required to undertake more training each year than other lawyers and must be successful in having their accreditation renewed every year. Specialist Accreditation is the mark of a true specialist.

    Our firm’s specialist experience ensures you receive the best possible result, whatever your criminal law case may be.

  9. Results-Focused Law Firm

    Our team is passionate about achieving results, and unlike many other law firms, our lawyers do not have monthly financial ‘budgets’ to meet.

    The absence of budgets means our lawyers are entirely focused on achieving optimal results in the shortest space of time; whether by getting charges dropped or downgraded at an early stage or having cases ‘thrown out of court’.

    Not having budgets also means our lawyers are not under pressure to engage in unscrupulous practices such as unnecessarily adjourning cases or ‘overcharging’ clients – which, sadly, is a common complaint against many other lawyers and law firms.

    No budgets encourages regular consultation between lawyers within the firm – promoting an ‘open door’, team environment where lawyers bounce ideas off one another, formulate case strategy together and benefit from each other’s specialised experience, methods, techniques and insights.

    The result is a firm which delivers optimal outcomes in the shortest time periods, at the least expense and stress to our clients.

  10. Team of Lawyers Behind You

    Our clients benefit from the pool of knowledge that only an extensive team of experienced criminal defence lawyers can provide.

    Our lawyers regularly consult one another to stay ‘ahead of the pack’ in the ever-changing field of criminal law – constantly devising, refining and implementing specialised techniques which ensure our clients achieve the best possible outcomes.

    A team approach is particularly important when it comes to serious criminal cases such as murder, commercial drug cases, serious and sexual assaults, large-scale fraud, robbery and other ‘indictable’ cases.

    In such matters, clients reap the benefits of several lawyers devising and executing case strategies which maximise the chances of having cases dropped or downgraded at an early stage, or ‘thrown out of court’ – often saving clients a great deal of cost, time and anxiety.

  11. Familiar with Magistrates and Judges

    Each of our lawyers appears in court on a daily basis, and has done so for years. We have therefore been able to develop an understanding of, and rapport with, magistrates and judges in Sydney and indeed across the state.

    Our team’s extensive experience before the courts ensures your case is tailored to the specific nuances of individual judicial officers, maximising the likelihood of a favourable result.

  12. Convenience

    We have offices in locations across the Sydney Metropolitan Area and beyond, including:

    • the Sydney CBD, on Castlereagh Street, directly opposite Downing Centre Court,
    • Liverpool, directly opposite Liverpool Local Court, and
    • Parramatta, near the justice precinct.

    We offer free parking at our Sydney CBD and Liverpool locations, and all of our offices are close to train stations and bus terminals.

    For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skye and FaceTime anywhere around the world.

    If you are going to court and wish to arrange a free first consultation, call our 24 hour hotline on (02) 9261 8881 or send us an email at info@sydneycriminallawyers.com.au.

Related Videos

Going to Court? Call For Your Free First Appointment

Main Menu

Follow Us

Search Our Site enter search term and press GO

Saved Articles & Pages

APPOINTMENT BOOKING FORM * mandatory fields

Preferred date for conference
Preferred time for conference
Briefly describe your situation:
Do you have a court date?

Your Review & Rating * mandatory fields

Review Text *
Rating (optional)