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Member Story: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

No good deed, or in this case, “good warning shot” goes unpunished.

Imagine spending two years of your life fighting a charge for defusing a violent fistfight in your front yard. That’s exactly what happened to one LawShield member in 2016.

One evening in the Fall of 2016, a LawShield member went out for dinner with her husband and his brother. Like any family, differences of opinion can arise, and the member’s husband and his brother began an argument on the way home. When they arrived at their residence, the member went inside the home and began to get ready for bed.

The next thing she heard was a loud argument in her front yard. She looked out of her window and saw her husband and his brother locked in a bloody fistfight. She then ran outside and pleaded with the men to stop fighting. They wouldn’t listen.

The member ran back into her bedroom, retrieved her handgun, and walked out of the front door. She again shouted, “Stop fighting.” But they continued brawling. The member, fearing the fight would escalate further, pointed her firearm down to the ground and away from the direction of the men and her neighbors’ homes. She fired directly into the soft ground.

The men immediately stopped fighting. Understandably, a concerned neighbor called the police when he heard the gunshot. The police arrived, rushed their investigation, and instead of arresting either man, arrested the member for deadly conduct; recklessly engaging in conduct that placed another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.

There was absolutely no direct, circumstantial, or forensic evidence showing that the member’s shot into the ground placed any person in imminent danger of suffering serious bodily injury. The evidence showed only that the bullet went into the ground, away from any buildings or people.

However, based on the responding officers’ assumptions and misunderstanding of the law, the member was arrested. The member’s nightmare was just beginning. Countless court settings and two years later, prosecutors finally dismissed her case because they couldn’t find any evidence to corroborate the alleged crime.

As you can see, the police and even prosecutors can sometimes misunderstand the facts and the law. Luckily, the member had an Independent Program Attorney armed with the knowledge to defend her and obtain dismissal of her criminal charge.

While this member was reasonable in her actions that night, and ultimately her case was dismissed, you should never fire a warning shot, unless you’re up for a long and hard fight for your freedom.

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