A man who shot and killed another man during an argument in a fast-food drive-thru will not face criminal charges. Prosecutors ruled, nearly a year after the New Year’s Day 2015 shooting, that the 29-year-old man was acting in self-defense, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. He could have faced charges including murder or manslaughter, both of which could have sent him to state prison for decades. Instead, the man will not face any criminal charges.
Police said the 29-year-old man pulled into a drive-thru line and, when the car in front of him did not move, drove around that car, the newspaper reported. A passenger in the car yelled at the man as he drove past, which started a confrontation, and the second driver then pulled out a gun. When the passenger and the 29-year-old driver both got out of the cars, police said the passenger charged at the driver yelling “You want to die?” and the driver shot him one time in the chest, the newspaper reported. The driver called 911, drove home and cooperated with police.
In Florida, if someone is threatened with the use of deadly force, the person does not have the duty to retreat and can use deadly force to defend himself or herself. Many have sought protection under the so-called Stand Your Ground Law, but very few times is it granted by a judge. In this Clay County Gun Crimes Case, charges were never filed by prosecutors. The state investigated the case for several months and then ruled the shooting justified because of self-defense, citing the Stand Your Ground law, the newspaper reported.
Self-defense and Stand Your Ground Defenses can be difficult because the person who ultimately uses deadly force cannot be an aggressor, nor can he or she stay around the situation longer than necessary. If the person has an opportunity to exit the confrontation without using violence, but instead continues to be a part of the confrontation and it then turns deadly, he or she could have problems with a self-defense claim. Our Clay County Gun Crimes Attorney knows the self-defense statutes inside and out and when a person is entitled by law to defend himself or herself. Our Clay County Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly investigate the case against you, even before charges are filed if there is an opportunity, and advise you on the best steps going forward.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Clay County Violent Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.