CALCRIM No. 2950. Failing to Maintain Control of a Dangerous Animal (Pen. Code, § 399)
Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2023 edition)Download PDF
2950.Failing to Maintain Control of a Dangerous Animal (Pen.
Code, § 399)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with causing (injury/death)
by failing to maintain control of a dangerous animal [in violation of
Penal Code section 399].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant (owned/ [or] had custody or control of) a
2. The defendant knew that the animal was dangerous;
<Alternative 3A - allowed to run free>
[3. The defendant willfully allowed the animal to run free;]
<Alternative 3B - failed to use ordinary care>
[3. The defendant failed to use ordinary care in keeping the animal;]
4. The animal (killed/caused serious bodily injury to)
<insert name of person allegedly attacked> while the defendant
(allowed it to run free/failed to use ordinary care in keeping it)(;/
<Give element 5 unless alleged victim not capable of taking precautions;
see Bench Notes.>
5. <insert name of person allegedly attacked> took all
the precautions that a reasonable person would have taken in the
[If the People have proved that <insert name of person
allegedly attacked> was (under the age of five years/incapable of taking
reasonable precautions because <insert reason for
incapacity>), then the People do not need to prove item 5 and you do not
have to find that (he/she) took all the precautions that a reasonable
person would have taken in the same situation.]
[Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on
purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt
someone else, or gain any advantage.]
[Using ordinary care means using reasonable care to prevent reasonably
foreseeable harm to someone else. A person fails to use ordinary care if
he or she (does something that a reasonably careful person would not do
in the same situation/ [or] fails to do something that a reasonably careful
person would do in the same situation).]
[A serious bodily injury means a serious impairment of physical
condition. Such an injury may include[, but is not limited to]: (loss of
consciousness/ concussion/ bone fracture/ protracted loss or impairment
of function of any bodily member or organ/ a wound requiring extensive
suturing/ [and] serious disfigurement).]
New January 2006
The court has a sua sponte duty to give an instruction defining the elements of the
In element 3, give either alternative 3A or 3B as appropriate based on the facts of
the case. When giving alternative 3A, also give the definition of “willfully.” When
giving alternative 3B, also give the definition of “ordinary care.”
The first bracketed paragraph is for use when the victim is by law incapable of
being held to the ordinary standard of care under the law of negligence. (See People
v. Berry (1992) 1 Cal.App.4th 778, 785-786 [2 Cal.Rptr.2d 416] [children under five
are deemed incapable of negligent acts.]) If the parties agree that the alleged victim
was under five years old or incapable of taking responsible precautions, the court
may omit element 5 and not give the bracketed paragraph.
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 399.
• Victim Incapable of Negligence Due to Lack of Capacity. People v. Berry (1992)
1 Cal.App.4th 778, 785-786 [2 Cal.Rptr.2d 416].
• Definition of Dangerous Animal. Sea Horse Ranch Inc. v. Superior Court (1994)
24 Cal.App.4th 446, 460 [30 Cal.Rptr.2d 681].
• Negligence - Ordinary Care. Pen. Code, § 7(2); Restatement Second of Torts,
• Serious Bodily Injury Defined. Pen. Code, § 243(f)(4); People v. Taylor (2004)
118 Cal.App.4th 11, 25, fn. 4 [12 Cal.Rptr.3d 693].
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against Public
Peace and Welfare, § 456.
CALCRIM No. 2950 VANDALISM, LOITERING, AND TRESPASS
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