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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4779
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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I received a ticket at a 27 acre city park, for "dog at large",

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I received a ticket at a 27 acre city park, for "dog at large", my dog initially was leashed but it was a very hot day and we stopped in some shade I unleashed my dog so she could lay down. An undercover police car pulled up and the police officer said "you should have kept her on a leash, I guess he had been stalking us. At the same time a man in a motorized wheelchair who is paralyzed came rolling up, his dog was off leash and the police officer said "even people like you have to leash the dog". My dog was always under my control but not restrained, do I have any chance for a dismissal?

TexLawyer :

Good morning. I'll be assisting you with your question.

TexLawyer :

I assume there is a city ordinance regarding the requirement to have your dog on a leash, correct?

Customer: No
Customer: Yes there is, all dogs must be on a leash
TexLawyer :

If it specifically requires the dog to be on a leash, and the dog was no, there probably isn't much you do from a legal perspective.

TexLawyer :

That's not to say you can't go see the judge or prosecutor and ask for a lower fine, but legally and factually, it is what it is.

Customer: I was told by other dog owners who have received these tickets to contest and ask for a dismissal bc the police officer doesn't show up to court, is this a possibility. If so can you advise of what language I should us if I take this route?
TexLawyer :

do you have a court date?

TexLawyer :

That really depends on the officer. If you want to try that, you have to ask the court for a trial date. The court will set it for trial, and if you show up, but the officer does not, the court has to dismiss the ticket because the state was unable to prove its case (the officer would likely be their only witness).

TexLawyer :

Without any evidence, the state can't meet its burden of proof and you win.

TexLawyer :

There isn't any specific language you need to use. Just ask for the court date and hope for the best.

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