Is there a “one bite” rule in California for a dog that bites someone? In other words, is the owner criminally or civilly liable the first time his or her dog bites someone? The answer is no, much to the surprise of many. In fact, there is strict liability under California Civil Code § 3342. What about criminal liability? Penal Code § 399 covers this. What does it say? Is it a felony or a misdemeanor? What is the punishment? Click on the following link to find out.