Leaving The Scene

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. Nothing in this content constitutes legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice on this matter, retain a licensed, competent attorney in your relevant jurisdiction.

We all know that leaving the scene of a car accident, is itself, a crime. But what about leaving the scene of a self-defense shooting? is that a crime?

Most people involved in a self-defense shooting hang around the scene where the shooting just took place. Why? Because most people who were defending their life or the lives of loved ones from a bad guy are attempting to prove their innocence to the police. They figure that if they can show what and where things happened, the police will see that they are the innocent victim. But guess what? Police don’t care if you are innocent or not. All day long they hear that people are innocent. Their job is to secure the scene and gather evidence, not determine someone’s guilt or innocence. That job falls onto a jury.

Leaving the scene of a car accident is dramatically different than leaving the scene of a shooting. In an auto accident, you are not in a position to have to defend your life. On the other hand, if you are attacked by a bad guy, you have an ethical and moral imperative to defend your life…thanks to the 2nd Amendment. In a defensive gun use situation, the state has to prove its case that you were not justified in the use of deadly force against an aggressor. This means they must gather evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt, to a jury, that you exercised deadly force against another person when your life was not threatened or at risk.

So you leave the scene to an area which poses less risk. Many retreating law abiding gun owners who defended themselves retreat to a safe area…inside a well lit convenience store, behind a car, your home or the home of a buddy, until the police arrive. A benefit of seeking refuge inside a convenience store is that there may be witnesses who can vouch of your presence. This act is not ‘leaving the scene of a crime’. This is the act of a person, scared for his/her life, retreating to a place he/she has reason to believe poses little risk.

A good defense attorney will argue that because you were in fear of your life, you needed to leave the immediate scene…to take cover…to collect yourself…to get away from the bad guy’s partner.

So, as soon as you compose yourself, immediately call your attorney and listen to your attorney’s advice.