News/Q&A Show: Feb. 18, 2021

Welcome to this episode of our ONLY open-access content, our weekly News/Q&A Show. A transcript of the show is (or soon will be) available below my signature, for those who prefer to read rather than view. Also, Law of Self Defense Members can access the show in audio form in the members-only Law of Self Defense Podcast.

In today’s News/Q&A Show for February 18, 2021 we touched on a broad range of questions submitted for the show, as well as questions submitted live, including:

NEWS

Q&A

  • How is an issue at trial “preserved” for appeal?
  • What to look for, and avoid, in “self-defense insurance” programs?

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A transcript of the show is available below my signature, for those who prefer to read rather than view. Also, Law of Self Defense Members can access the show in audio form in the members-only Law of Self Defense Podcast.

CCW Safe:  Our Sponsor

Now before we jump into the substance of today’s content, I do, of course, need to mention today’s sponsor, CCW Safe, a provider of legal service memberships, what many people mistakenly call self-defense insurance. They in effect promise to pay their member’s legal expenses if their member is involved in a use of force event.

And those expenses start big and get bigger, fast, folks. For example, imagine a case where you were threatened, you displayed your gun, you didn’t fire a shot didn’t hurt anybody—and now you find yourself charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, typically a 10-year felony.

If you’re charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, you’re looking at a retainer to your lead counsel on the order of $30,000 to $50,000. And that’s just for pre-trial work, folks, that’s not for going to trial. If it’s a killing case, where you’re charged with manslaughter or murder, you’re easily looking at $100,000 or $200,000 pre-trial expense, and just multiply that for the trial.

So, if you don’t have that kind of money stuffed in your mattress just in case you’re compelled to defend yourself and your family, it can be useful to have a financial partner standing behind you to make sure you have the resources you need to fight the legal battle, the way you want it fought—as if your life depended on it. Because, really, it does.  And that’s what CCW Safe offers to do.

There are several companies out there that offer similar services. I’ve looked at all of them, as you might imagine, and I found that CCW Safe is the best fit for me personally.  I’m a member of CCW Safe, my wife Emily is a member of CCW Safe.

One of the biggest reasons I favored CCW Safe over other similar offerings is that many of those others simply don’t provide the level resources you need for an adequate legal defense. If you’re looking at a “self-defense insurance” offer that caps out at $150,000 or $250,000, that’s simply not enough for a murder or manslaughter trial if you’ve killed someone in self-defense, as I’ve already discussed. In contrast, CCW Safe promises to pay what the defense costs, period, with no such cap.

And what if you lose a trial and you have to appeal. CCW Safe covers you on appeals again, with no cap. These other companies often say well, we’ll cover you up to the limit of the cap on an appeal. But of course, you’ll have spent all that money at the trial itself. So effectively, there is no coverage for an appeal.

So be aware if your plan that you’re looking at or already have has that kind of cap. I know $250,000 sounds like a lot of money, folks, and it is a lot of money, but not in the context of a criminal defense in the murder or manslaughter case. Read the fine print, folks, and understand what you’re getting—and not getting—from any such offering you’re considering.

Having said that CCW Safe is the best fit for me, whether they are the best fit for you is something only you can decide. But I do encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer by clicking the image or link below:

http://lawofselfdefense.com/ccwsafe

And if you do decide to become a member of CCW Safe, you can save 10% off your membership at that URL http://lawofselfdefense.com/ccwsafe, using the discount code LOSD10.

Enjoy the show!

Remember:

You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill.

Know the law so you’re hard to convict!

Stay safe!

–Andrew

Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC

Law of Self Defense Platinum Protection Program

IMPORTANT:  We encourage civil and reasoned debate among Members in the comments.  That said, comments reflect the legal opinions of those who authored them only, and no comment should be assumed to reflect the legal opinion of, or be assumed to be shared by, Attorney Andrew F. Branca, except those authored by Attorney Branca.  Law of Self Defense LLC does not systemically moderate comments for legal correctness, and we suggest that all comments be viewed with an appropriately critical eye and a grain of salt.

Nothing in this content constitutes legal advice. Nothing in this content establishes an attorney-client relationship, nor confidentiality. If you are in immediate need of legal advice, retain a licensed, competent attorney in the relevant jurisdiction.

Law of Self Defense © 2021
All rights reserved.

TRANSCRIPT

Hey everybody. Welcome. Welcome, to the Law of Self Defense News/Q&A Show for Thursday, February 18, 2021. Welcome to all of you watching live either on the Law of Self Defense Membership dashboard, or over at our Facebook page. Yes, we still have a Facebook page. Who would have thought it by now. Bbut those of you watching live Welcome. Welcome.

I am of course Attorney Andrew Branca for Law of Self Defense. Thank you. Thank you very much. That’s greatly appreciated, as always.

So for those of you who may be new, this is our weekly Law of Self Defense News/Q&A Show. We do it every Thursday at 4pm Eastern time. And this is the only piece of open-access content we produce each week. Law of Self Defense is primarily a Membership service. So, we do produce a ton of content every week. Most of it is limited to our members. We’ll get to that shortly with some more information on Law of Self Defense Membership, which is dirt cheap, by the way, stay tuned to learn more.

But every week we do this one open-access show to expose the general public to the Law of Self Defense and the content we produce. As the name suggests, our legal focus here is on use-of-force law, defense of self, defense of others, defense of property, period. We don’t do gun law or weapons law, we claim no great expertise there. We do have resources we can recommend if you have questions in that area. But in terms of, not the type of weapon per se, but when you are permitted to use force, again, in defense of yourself, or others, or property, that’s our area of expertise. And we apply it to all 50 states.

Now we again do the show every Thursday. So I do encourage you to mark your calendar so you never have to miss an episode. But if you can’t catch the live show, we do make a replay recording available as well. We keep it up here on our Facebook page, on our membership dashboard, and also at the Law of Self Defense Blog. So you can find it there as well. So if you missed the show, or any show, you can catch all our back recordings of the Thursday News/Q&A Show, again at the Law of Self Defense Blog. So we encourage you to look there.

Now the nature of the show is, as the title suggests, we cover news items and do Q&A. So we’ll look at use-of-force events in the news. And today, we do have an actual video analysis to share with all of you, as well a fairly funny video analysis, frankly, involving a porch pirate, those are always great fun. The porch pirate had a terrible, awful no good day in this particular instance. So we’ll share that with all of you, as well as a couple of other items in the news.

And then we’ll go into answering your questions. Now some questions have been sent in to us beforehand. In particular, we had a number of questions come in about “self defense insurance,” quote unquote. So one of the questions we’ll address will be basically what are the key things to look for? And frankly, the key things to avoid in self defense insurance type products, and then we’ll have some additional questions. We also take questions from all of you live, who are watching the show. So if you’re watching live on Facebook or a member dashboard, at any time during the show, feel free to put a question in the comments. We may not see it when you post it but we will take a look through the comments before we close out today’s show, which we try to do within an hour.

Or if you are in a position where you might want to email us questions either during the live show or afterwards for us to consider in our next show. You can always email us questions to show@lawofselfdefense.com. We can’t promise to answer every question email to ask, but we do promise to take everyone under consideration. We certainly look at every question. And you can do that during the show as well, before the show closes out I’ll take a look at our email in that box and see if anything’s come in that seems appropriate for us to address.

Also, just recently, we’ve taken these weekly News/Q&A Shows and we also make them available as an, obviously, audio podcast. You can access that audio podcast by going to Law of Self Defense Free Podcast.

And there you’ll find links to all the popular podcast platforms, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, iHeart, wherever, we’re in all of them. So if you’d like to listen to this as a weekly, roughly hour-long podcast, you can do that as well. This is separate from our members-only podcast which includes all our other content that we produce every week. But this is the open-access free podcast for which membership is not required.

http://lawofselfdefense.com/freepodcast

CCW Safe:  Our Sponsor

Now before we jump into the substance of today’s content, I do, of course, need to mention today’s sponsor, CCW Safe, a provider of legal service memberships, what many people mistakenly call self-defense insurance. They in effect promise to pay their member’s legal expenses if their member is involved in a use of force event.

And those expenses start big and get bigger, fast, folks. For example, imagine a case where you were threatened, you displayed your gun, you didn’t fire a shot didn’t hurt anybody—and now you find yourself charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, typically a 10-year felony.

If you’re charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, you’re looking at a retainer to your lead counsel on the order of $30,000 to $50,000. And that’s just for pre-trial work, folks, that’s not for going to trial. If it’s a killing case, where you’re charged with manslaughter or murder, you’re easily looking at $100,000 or $200,000 pre-trial expense, and just multiply that for the trial.

So, if you don’t have that kind of money stuffed in your mattress just in case you’re compelled to defend yourself and your family, it can be useful to have a financial partner standing behind you to make sure you have the resources you need to fight the legal battle, the way you want it fought—as if your life depended on it. Because, really, it does.  And that’s what CCW Safe offers to do.

There are several companies out there that offer similar services. I’ve looked at all of them, as you might imagine, and I found that CCW Safe is the best fit for me personally.  I’m a member of CCW Safe, my wife Emily is a member of CCW Safe.

One of the biggest reasons I favored CCW Safe over other similar offerings is that many of those others simply don’t provide the level resources you need for an adequate legal defense. If you’re looking at a “self-defense insurance” offer that caps out at $150,000 or $250,000, that’s simply not enough for a murder or manslaughter trial if you’ve killed someone in self-defense, as I’ve already discussed. In contrast, CCW Safe promises to pay what the defense costs, period, with no such cap.

And what if you lose a trial and you have to appeal. CCW Safe covers you on appeals again, with no cap. These other companies often say well, we’ll cover you up to the limit of the cap on an appeal. But of course, you’ll have spent all that money at the trial itself. So effectively, there is no coverage for an appeal.

So be aware if your plan that you’re looking at or already have has that kind of cap. I know $250,000 sounds like a lot of money, folks, and it is a lot of money, but not in the context of a criminal defense in the murder or manslaughter case. Read the fine print, folks, and understand what you’re getting—and not getting—from any such offering you’re considering.

Having said that CCW Safe is the best fit for me, whether they are the best fit for you is something only you can decide. But I do encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer by clicking the image or link below:

http://lawofselfdefense.com/ccwsafe

And if you do decide to become a member of CCW Safe, you can save 10% off your membership at that URL http://lawofselfdefense.com/ccwsafe, using the discount code LOSD10.

NEWS

Boy, 12, fatally shoots intruder who broke into grandmother’s home

All right, so let’s jump into the news. So one story that was brought to my attention this week happened in North Carolina, and it involved a 12 year old who shot and killed an intruder.

Now, based on news media reports, and by the way, all these news items I’ve talked about will be linked in the text version of today’s content at loss of defense comm slash blog. So you can read the original news stories there. A

nd any statutes are referred to in the course of the show. They’re also linked in that text version of today’s content. I always do encourage folks to read the actual statutes, the case law, the jury instructions, whatever I might refer to in these cases. So you can be confident that when I’m referring to the law, it’s not something I’m making up. It’s not internet lore about Self Defense Law. It’s the actual law, the actual statutes, jury instructions, court decisions.

And then the case here we had a home invasion by two masked men into a woman’s home 73 year old woman’s home at about midnight when I am in the morning. So the time the masks and the forcible unlawful intrusion, and they were armed with guns obviously bodes ill for the residents of the home. In fact, the two men came in and they shot the 73 year old woman so that was one of their first steps.

Unbeknownst to them, the woman was a grandmother and her grandson was also in the home, he was 12 years old. When his grandmother got shot, he responded to that event by in turn shooting at the intruders with a shotgun. He managed to strike at least one of the intruders with enough force to cause his demise, so that 19 year old home invader who forcibly and unlawfully entered the home would be pronounced dead at the hospital.

The grandmother who’d been shot by the intruders would be hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

So feel good story, right, two masked home invaders, middle of the night, shoot the grandmother, grandson responds by shooting them, the intruders, with a shotgun, killing one of them.  Feel good story right? Good guys won.

And, certainly, based on these facts, this was clearly legally justified. There’s really no question about it. On multiple levels, justified a self defense, justified is defense of others, the grandson defending his grandmother, justified as defensive dwelling under North Carolina law, there’s a legal presumption that the people in the home were reasonably perceiving an imminent deadly force threat. Right. I mean, obviously, the intruders were shooting them. So it would be hard to dispute under any circumstances.

Now, you know, in some respects, it’s never good when anybody gets shot. But this is likely the best outcome of a bad situation, a situation that could have gone far, far worse.

So, there’s not a lot of legal complexity to this case. So why bother talking about it?

Well, I felt it would be a good reminder, a good opportunity to remind all of you that it’s important to look not just as kind of the superficial dynamics of these cases in this case, in particular, is very clear cut. But keep in mind, the kind of meta-facets of these situations, for example, keep in mind how this event is likely to be reported by the media, not as an event by itself because they can’t avoid the facts that make this as clean the shoot as you could possibly imagine.

But when they report this kind of case, in the aggregate, for example, this is clearly a gun homicide, right? Which simply means that there was a homicide person was killed by a person, that’s literally all that homicide beans, and the death was caused by a gun. So it’s a gun homicide. So when the media is writing, not about this case in particular, about gun homicides in general, they’re going to count this as one of those gun homicide cases.

So for example, when they say that, when the media reports that gun homicides are up, either generally or after some pro-self defenselaw, like stand your ground has been passed, the media will report, Well, we passed that stand your ground law and gun homicides went up. They’re counting as a gun homicide this case, and every case like this.

Now, again, it’s definitely a homicide. It’s definitely a homicide committed with a gun. But there are homicides, folks, and then there are homicides. Not all homicides are the same. Not all homicides are a social bad.

Again, homicide merely means a person was killed by a person, period. It’s properly thought of as a medical term, not a legal term. The legal consideration is whether the killing was lawful or unlawful, whether it has criminal repercussions or doesn’t have criminal repercussions.

If the killing was unlawful, then it’s murder or manslaughter or criminally reckless killing, or some flavor of that sort, some flavor of unlawful killing.

But if the homicide is lawful, well, arguably it’s a social good, right? People were being shot here. If we have to choose between who’s going to live and who’s going to die. Is it the home invader? Or is it the grandmother and the grandson? I’m sorry, but we’re entitled to make that call.

Here we have a lawful killing and not just self-defense, but defense of others and defensive dwelling under North Carolina law, the media will report this invariably as a gun homicide in order to suggest that it was somehow wrong, and that guns themselves are evil. Look, guns kill people, guns are bad.

Folks, it’s important that you know this kind of propaganda when you hear it you understand what they’re doing to influence public perception of things like your right to have a gun, your right to defend yourself and your family. If you’re hearing a gun or self defense story being reported by the media, it’s pretty safe to assume that what you’re hearing is a propagandized version of the actual facts in anti self defense propagandized version of the actual facts.

And how do you best defend yourself against this kind of propaganda? Well, in the self defense context, know the actual law of self defense. So you’re an informed consumer of the news. So you understand that not all homicides are social bads, and not all homicides are unlawful. A woman being raped who kills her rapist has committed a homicide. Is that a social bad? Of course not.

Another thing to keep in mind, by the way, the gun control crowd loves to push these mandatory one size fits all safe gun storage laws. I mean, talk about reasonable gun control, right, what could be more reasonable than ensuring that your guns can’t be accessed by unauthorized people? Right.

And by the way, I fully agree. I’m a gun owner, I’ve got my fair share. I consider it a fundamental responsibility to ensure that my guns are not accessible to unauthorized people and I take that responsibility very seriously.

The problem with gun storage laws is that they try to impose a one size fits all solution, when in fact many people’s circumstances are quite different. The widow who lives alone in a neighborhood grown dangerous, has different gun security issues than the young parents. with small children running around the house, or, or the family whose children are old enough that already have learned gun safety and even gun shooting, or gun hunting with firearms, those are all very different scenarios with very different gun storage, security needs and mandates.

Now, I don’t know about all of you, but I had my own 22 rifle and was free to take it out in the woods and go plinking at my discretion when I was nine years old, for my family that was safe gun storage.

Now, in the story, I just recounted this 12 year old shot and killed this intruder who had shot his grandmother in the state of North Carolina.

Now, again, my expertise is in use of force law, not gun law. I don’t claim any great expertise in gun law generally, I can tell tell you, however, that had this event taking place in Massachusetts, this feel good story, this grandmother while she’s recovering from a gunshot wound inflicted by these intruders, the intruder lawfully killed by her 12 year old grandson, this grandmother would be looking at a felony conviction for 12 years in prison.

Why? Because under Massachusetts law, specifically, §131L. Firearms—storage, for those who care to look, storing even a simple single shot shotgun in such a way that it’s accessible by a 12 year old is a felony, subject to up to a dozen years in prison.

And of course, it’s incontrovertible in this case, that that’s exactly what this grandmother did. She had in her home a shotgun accessible to a 12 year old. That’s how he was able to access it to kill the intruder who was shooting his grandmother.

And it’s worth noting, and admittedly, I’m speculating here, but in many of these situations where grandchildren are living with grandparents, it could be an overnight visit, who knows, but in many cases, the grandparents actually raising the child. In other words, you lock up the grandparent, and now the child goes into the foster care system, instead of being raised by a loving grandmother, who is now serving a 12 year felony sentence under Massachusetts law.

And Massachusetts would call that a win in the fight for common sense, gun control.

So when you hear people talk about common sense, gun control, think through what those things actually mean, folks, because they don’t necessarily mean just the feel good version of the people who are advocating for those laws. And always beware, of course of unintended consequences.

GA Governor wants to overhaul citizen arrests after Arbery case

Okay, so another news story that came up, and I’ve mentioned this a few times, but this has become a little more concrete in the last week or so. And that is that Georgia is looking to overhaul its citizens arrest law after the Ahmaud Arbery case.  Arbery, of course, was the black male who’d been seen unlawfully entering a home and then fled the scene. He was pursued by neighbors of the homeowner, people who’ve been told by the police to keep their eyes open for unlawful conduct around the home. Apparently, theft had occurred in the past. They pursued Arbery. They stopped their truck in the middle of the street, got out to stop Arvery, they say to ask him about his conduct to determine whether or not they should make a citizen’s arrest under the circumstances. Arbery charged them, fought them for their shotgun, got shot and killed in the process. And now they’re charged with murder. This would be the McMichaels a father and son and a neighbor Roddy Bryan, I believe that’s his last name, Bryan,, who videotaped using a cell phone the final encounter between when Arbery charged the McMichaels. And of course, we’ve all seen that video. It’s become public record now.

So McMichaels, and Bryan are charged with murder, felony murder, technically speaking. And of course, their defense is going to be that they were acting lawfully, that their effort to stop Arbery was lawful under Georgia law, that if they had made an arrest, it would have been lawful under Georgia citizens arrest law, is going to be their argument. So certainly, if an actual arrest would be lawful, a stop is an inherent part of making an arrest, would also be lawful. So I expect that will be their defense.

And if you look at the Georgia existing Georgia citizens rest law, frankly, folks, it looks pretty good for the McMichaels and, Bryan, it looks like Georgia law allows for they’re making this stop of arbitrary. The entire Georgia citizens arrest law is only two sentences. I’ll read it to now,. And by the way, that’s § 17-4-60. Grounds for arrest, is the statute. Again, I’ll link that in the text version of today’s content.

But it reads, the two sentence statute reads, quote, “A private person may arrest an offender if the offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge.” So it doesn’t have to be in the presence, it just has to be in your immediate knowledge that they’ve committed some offense. The second sentence is “If the offense is a felony—” and in this case, the suspected offense was a felony. It was burglary of a dwelling, which is a felony under Georgia law, and the offender is escaping or attempting to escape and certainly Arbery’s flight from the scene looks like escape, “a private person may arrest him upon reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion.”

So of course, the McMichaels are going to argue as their defense, Well, we had reasonable and probable grounds a suspicion that Arbery had committed a felony of burglary. Burglary, by the way, doesn’t require in the Georgia law, that anything be taken, actually taken. It merely requires an unlawful entry into the dwelling with the intent to take. But if you don’t find anything worth taking, you run away, you still committed the felony burglary under Georgia law.

So the McMichaels are going to argue, look, maybe we were mistaken. But reasonable mistakes are allowed, we had reasonable and probable grounds to believe he’d committed a felony burglary. We were seeking to stop him to determine whether or not to make a citizen’s arrest under Georgia § 17-4-60.

And frankly, it’s a very strong defense. If we’re looking only at the law and the evidence, this is a very strong case for the McMichaels.

Now, in fairness, this citizen’s arrest law was created in 1863, a long time ago, when society was very different. When there was not formalized police departments in most places of Georgia were in many cases, the citizens themselves were expected to be the local law enforcement. And so we end up with this very broad citizens arrest statute, frankly, very akin to a police officers privilege to make an arrest on property purposes of felony arrest, first reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion that a felony crime has been committed. Now, I think what’s happening here in Georgia, I think, is as people increasingly take a less heated, less emotional view of the actual law that will apply in this case, when they look at how George’s existing citizens arrest law is likely to apply to this case, it looks good for an acquittal of all three of these men in this case.

Now that makes everybody, many people, unhappy, obviously. And of course, the case has become racially energized because the three men charged with murder are white and Ahmaud Arbery was black.

And so there are efforts now to change this citizen’s arrest law. And frankly, I see a lot of the drive behind these efforts being the recognition that holy cow, you know what this citizens arrest law, as it exists, did allow the McMichaels to do this, did allow them to pursue Arbery and make an effort to stop him and make a determination of whether or not they should make a citizen’s arrest of Arbery.

Well, if you don’t like that outcome, if you don’t like the way the citizen’s arrest law allows people to act, if you think it should not do that, well, then you need to change the law. So now the Governor of Georgia has actually filed a bill. And the full text of that bill is embedded in the text version of today’s content.

But the Governor of Georgia, so this is more concrete, people have been talking about the need to change this. Citizens arrest law now they’ve actually filed the bill. And in effect, what the bill does is completely delete the citizens arrest statutory language I just quoted you, gets rid of both those sentences in their entirety, and replaces it with a much more limited, structured, arguably complex citizen’s arrest law that limits the privilege of citizens arrest to certain categories of people.

For example, shop owners who are detaining someone based on suspected shoplifting. But you have to be in one of those particular categories. It’s no longer a generalized citizens privilege to make an arrest. And it also explicitly excludes the use of deadly force to make an arrest, you can still use deadly force, of course, if you have to defend yourself under the normal use of force laws, but there is no deadly force citizens arrest under the proposed bill.

Now personally, I don’t really care what the citizens arrest law is in Georgia, so long as people know what it is before they attempt to make a citizen’s arrest, but that’s really on them. I think citizen’s arrest is kind of a general public policy area in which reasonable people can come to reasonable conclusions about what ought to be allowed to not be allowed.

But when I see these efforts to suddenly change this citizens arrest law now when Let’s face it, folks, it’s been in effect since 1863. That’s a long time it’s been on the books and no one complained about it before the Arberyy case. I see a lot of this being driven by the recognition that hey, that law actually allows for this conduct. If we don’t like this conduct to be lawful, if we want to be able to criminally punish people who engage in the context and the McMichaels, we need to change the law because right now the law allows them to do that.

Alright, so that’s all about that. Again, if you’d like to read that bill, the proposed language changing citizen’s arrest law, you can find it in the text version of today’s content.

Porch Pirate Has a Very Bad Awful No Good Day

Next, I have what I think is a pretty entertaining video analysis. I don’t know where this event took place. It was just sent to me this morning. And I was asked for comment. It is kind of funny, there was a lot of cursing in the original video, folks, I think I’ve bleeped it all out. Frankly, there’s so much cursing about half the audio now is bleeps. So if I missed any of the cursing, my apologies, I grew up as a young man working as a diesel mechanic in Harlem, New York, I’m kind of tone deaf to cursing, I tend not to notice it. I’ve tried to be diligent and catching it here. If you do watch this video at the Law of Self Defense Blog, you’ll get the unedited version, all the MF-er and stuff will still be in there. But I’ve tried to clean it up for purposes of Facebook.

So with that said, what we’re going to see in this video is we’re going to see a snowy landscape, basically a front yard driveway of a home, everything’s pretty much covered in snow, a white car is going to pull up a gentleman for some reason also, all in white is going to get out of the car, approach the porch of this home and pick up a package and it’ll turn out he’s apparently a porch pirate, and he’s trying to just steal the package. And as he begins to walk away with the package, he’s confronted by the homeowner who steps out of the front door, and the homeowner has an AR pattern rifle in his hands. And we’ll see how things proceed from there. So let me pull this stuff down. And we’ll go with the video now in 3:  1, 2, 3.

CAUTION! PROFANITY ALERT!

Okay, all right. So that’s the porch pirate video, folks, my favorite part of the video is at the end, when the second guy comes out, I have a feeling those two gentlemen are going to have, that’ll be the topic of their conversation for the rest of the day, and likely for some time to come.

But anyway, the video was sent my way. And the question was, essentially, could I do a legal analysis? Was this an appropriate conduct by the homeowner stepping out the door cycling the bolt of the car in defense of a package?

And well, in terms of the black letter law, it’s a pretty high risk way to protect the package. Clearly it was the homeowner’s intent to put the thief in fear of imminent deadly force harm, especially when he cycled that bolt. Right. That’s unambiguous conduct at that point. And undoubtedly, that’s exactly the state of mind induced in the thief.

So when you put someone else in fear of imminent deadly force harm, and especially when you do it with a firearm, you’ve arguably just committed the crime of aggravated assault with a firearm, generally good for 10 years in prison. And in many states, if you use a gun or a semi-automatic gun or an assault weapon, nonsense. There’s a gun sentencing enhancement that can be good for maybe another 10 years. So maybe you’re looking at 20 years in prison.

Now, of course threatening someone with deadly force putting them in fear of imminent deadly force harm can be lawful, if you meet the conditions for it being lawful. In other words, if it were self defense and defense against an imminent deadly force, unlawful threat by that person or similarly for defensive others or some other person, we’re facing an imminent, unlawful, deadly force threat.

But we don’t have that here. Right. The person stealing the package is not apparently demonstrating an unlawful imminent deadly force threat to the homeowner. He’s a thief. He’s trying to take the property. But you’re not really allowed to use deadly force in defense of mere personal property. This is not an invasion of a home or a vehicle or place of work kind of highly defensible property scenario, defensive dwelling scenario. That’s not what’s happening here. It’s simple personal property, simple theft. So you’re not allowed to use deadly force in defense of property.

Now I know some of you are going to say, Well, what about Texas, Texas allows for the use of deadly force in defense of mere personal property. And the relevant statute there, by the way, is Texas Penal Code § 9.42, if you’d like to read it, and I encourage you to do that.

And there are circumstances under which Texas law does allow for the use of deadly force in defense of mere personal property. One of those conditions is in defense against theft, but it would have to be a theft occurring during the nighttime, or for that matter of flight from the theft or with stolen property. But it has to be at nighttime. And clearly, this was not happening at nighttime. So even Texas, the one state that has at least some provision for the use of deadly force in defense of personal property would not allow the use of deadly force here, because this was not occurring at nighttime.

So let’s take Texas out of the equation and presume that whatever state this is in, there will be no legal justification for the use of deadly force in defense of this package. Well, if you don’t have that legal justification, you’re potentially facing that aggravated assault with a firearm charge good for 10 to 20 years.

Now, we always encourage folks to assume the worst case legal scenario, don’t assume you’re going to get a break from the prosecutor assume that the prosecutor is going to throw the book at you be prepared for the worst case. Now, in many cases, people do get a break.

If you read those NRA magazine armed citizen columns, you’ll see lots of situations where if you know, the actual use of force law, you’ll say, holy cow, what that person did, hey, make me feel good. But that was not a lawful use of force. Oftentimes, but yet those people in the armed citizen columns never seem to get arrested or charged or prosecuted or convicted, or sentenced to prison for 10 or 20 years. A lot of times, that’s not because that what they did was within the bounds of the law, it’s because they got a break from the prosecutor. So we need to be able to differentiate, because you can’t count on those breaks.

That said, I there’s reason why breaks happen. And that is that prosecutors, in addition to the black letter law, also typically take into consideration a lot of non legal factors. In deciding whether to charge a case remember, at the end of the day, they have to sell this to a jury and disprove the any claim justification beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a pretty high threshold. And there are a lot of factors in this porch pirate case that are favorable to the homeowner.

For example, the homeowner here did not pursue the thief pursuit would dramatically change the dynamic of this narrative. The homeowner did not even point his weapon. At the thief, he did not fire at the thief. He didn’t actually shoot the thief. He didn’t do a generalized mag dump into the community. And folks, I’ve seen all these things happen. in similar situations, the homeowner was substantially older than the thief, the package was being taken, not at the end of the driveway, but from the front porch, arguably the homeowners curtilage, both the homeowner and the thief were of the same race. Now that should not matter. But in today’s racially energized circumstances, it doesn matter, unfortunately, in the kind of decision making the prosecutors often make

Now none of those factors mean the homeowner here could not be charged, in this case, he could be charged. And then he would have to attempt to raise a justification defense. But these factors do make the narrative of guilt for the prosecutor sufficiently messy. And they leave kind of an absence of a solid narrative of guilt hooks for a solid narrative of guilt, that I would not expect charges in this kind of case. Of course, this was an AR pattern gun. And in some states, the, you know, intensely anti gun states, especially anti gun AR platform. And the prosecutor, if this happened to one of those states and the prosecutors anti gun anti gun jurisdiction, and he thinks he can generate political capital for himself by pursuing a gun case here, who knows what he might do, you’re at the mercy of that prosecutors discretion.

So you don’t want to do that. You don’t want to put the rest of your life in the hands of somebody you don’t know whose own interests may not be aligned with your interests. Unless you have a darn good reason for doing that. Now, I would suggest that a package on the front porch may not be that reason. So fair caution.

Get a Taste of our Members-Only Content!

Alright, folks, that’s all the News items I had for all of you today.

As I mentioned, this is before we get to the questions, I’m just going to pause to remind all of you this is the only open access content we produce each week, freely available. Most of the content we produce each week is in fact content solely for our Law of Self Defense Members.

And membership is extremely cheap, extremely inexpensive. I’ll get back to that in a moment. But I wanted to give you a taste of the kinds of things that we covered over the course of this past week, since our last News/Q&A Show.

Monday, February 15, 2021

http://lawofselfdefense.com/blog

I was interviewed this week on Armed American Radio. This is Mark Walter’s show, Mark does great work with the show. I encourage you completely independent of my being interviewed to take a look at the show specifically just google Armed American Radio, it’ll come right up. He’s also got a Facebook page. I know I think he doesn’t show every day I think.

In any case I was interviewed this past Monday, mostly I talked about the Kyle Rittenhouse case, but also about a lot of these kinds of nuts and bolts legal realities of how the criminal justice system deals with self defense cases, the kind of insight that frankly, is, in my experience, rather rare out there. So you might enjoy that interview, or at least you’d have the opportunity if you were a law of self defense member.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

http://lawofselfdefense.com/blog

On Tuesday, I did a very detailed legal analysis of a very interesting preliminary hearing for the Kyle Rittenhouse case that occurred last week. Last Thursday, I believe, actually. And this was a preliminary hearing in which the prosecution was asking for written houses $2 million bond to be increased by 10% by an additional 200,000.  They were also asking the judge to issue an immediate warrant for Kyle’s arrest on the grounds that Kyle had failed to notify the court that he’d moved.

He changed residents now Kyle change residents because he was getting death threats at his home. The people making the death threats knew where to find Kyle because his house had become public record, because he was being prosecuted. So Kyle and his family moved to a safe home.

They offered the prosecutor the new address if the prosecutor would keep it under seal, and the prosecutor refused to do that, well, they’re not going to keep it under seal. If they’re going to make the new address public record, then nothing would change right then the death threats just come to the new address.

Now, of course, Kyle is making every court appearance, he’s not trying to hide from the criminal justice process, hide from the court, hide from anybody except the people making death threats. He’s not trying to hide from the legal process itself. And so in any case, the prosecution wanted, Kyle’s bail basically increased to unreachable levels, so he’d have to be back in prison every day until the day of his trial.

What was interesting about this is not just that the judge denied both these motions, the judge denied the motion for the increased bail, the judge denied the motion to arrest Kyle. The judge also made very clear in the course of this hearing that he is a law and evidence judge that he’s not going to be making any decisions about this case, based on street demonstrations or mob violence or the color of anybody’s skin or claims of white supremacism.

In fact, the judge noted that the media reports he’s seen on his own court orders have been grossly wrong, grossly mis reported by the media.

So this strikes me as extremely good news for Kyle, if he gets a fair trial, he’s looking at a very strong probability of acquittal, it’s never 100%, you always have a greater than zero chance of getting convicted folks if you’re put in front of a jury, but very, very good news for Kyle that it looks like he’s got a genuine old school law and evidence judge who’s unlikely to be swayed by the political dynamics of this case. And that’s great news. In any case we did a complete legal analysis of that entire hour long, preliminary hearing. So that might be of interest.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

http://lawofselfdefense.com/blog

And then, just yesterday, we posted up an analysis of the stand your ground bill moving through the North Dakota legislature, the large majority of states 37 states are already stand your ground states about 13 states are not yet. Several of those states have stand your ground bills moving through the legislature.

One of those is North Dakota, which you’d kind of expect would be standard ground already, but they’re not. And they have a bill going through the legislature now to enact standard ground as well as make changes to their self-defense immunity laws, make changes to their definition of what qualifies as highly defensible property, adding occupied vehicle to the current definition of dwelling place of business, and transient dwellings, like a motorhome, for example, when it’s occupied.

And I know most of you are not from North Dakota don’t care about this particular bill. But understanding how these laws are created, and what’s advantageous and not advantageous about particular facets of these laws is very useful for anybody because basically the same process has gone through the same strengths and weaknesses of these laws exist in all 50 states. So maybe worth considering.

So folks, that’s all the kind of stuff we covered over the course just of this week, the last five days, six days, seven days since our last News/Q&A show.

If that kind of content is of interest to you, then I would encourage you and that is members only content for us, then I would encourage you to consider becoming a law of self-defense member. It’s almost shockingly inexpensive, as the normal cost is only about 25 or 30 cents a day, less than $10 a month and even better, you can try out loss of defense membership for two weeks for just 99 cents, folks. And if you don’t like it, it doesn’t even cost you that much. In fact, we’ll refund 200% of your money. If you decide you don’t want to stay a member. Of course, we can do that because virtually everybody who becomes a member stays a member at loss of defense, I’m very pleased to say. But if that trial membership for two weeks, and it gives you exactly the same access as any other full paying member for those two weeks, try now for 99 cents.

You can learn more about that at http://lawofselfdefense.com/trial, for that two week law of self defense tryout.

QUESTIONS

How is an issue at trial “preserved” for appeal? 

George asks, Can a lawyer make an objection? So during a trial, sometimes things happens happen and a defense lawyer may make an objection.

So for let’s hypothesize, it’s a self defense case, the prosecution wants admitted into evidence, a sticker that the defendant has on his gun safe at home, says “Shoot them all, let God sort them out.” So the prosecution wants this sticker on the gun safe admitted into evidence as evidence of the defendant state of mind, basically an unlawful vigilante state of mind.

The defense objects, they argue, hey, this use of force event didn’t occur at the person’s home, this is just a joke. sticker 1,000s of gun owners have them it doesn’t mean malicious intent. It would be prejudicial to my client to allow this irrelevant evidence before the jury.

And the judge allows the sticker.

Well, because the defense attorney has objected that’s now grounds for potential appeal the if the defendant. Obviously the defendant’s acquitted the whole process ends, but if the defendant’s convicted, they may appeal in part on the grounds that it was reversible error for the trial judge to allow that ”Kill them all, let God sort them out” sticker into evidence in front of the jury.

George’s question is if the defense attorney objects on that basis, and then they do appeal, they get convicted, they appeal—

By the way, folks, if you appeal, you’re going to have a different lawyer, it’s not going to be your trial lawyer during the appeal. There’s two reasons for that. One is, appellate practice is very different than trial practice there. The whole nature of it is different. So generally, you want an expert in appellate practice, for appeals, and you want an expert in trial work for trial work. So it’s a different kind of skill set.

The other reason you don’t want the same lawyer for trial and appeal is one of the arguments you want to be able to make on appeal is that you had inadequate representation. In other words, your trial are sucked. Because you have a constitutional right to adequate legal representation. You can’t really make that argument if that your lawyer at trial sucked if you kept him for the appeal. Right? So normally, it’s not the same lawyer, trial lawyer, appellate lawyer are different.

So George asks, well, if the trial lawyer objected on one basis, or to one issue, can you raise different objections on a different basis or different issues on appeal the answers?

Absolutely, yes. Now, potentially, I should say potentially, yes.

One of the conditions for being able to appeal a particular issue is that the matter was preserved for appeal at trial. And typically, that’s done by the objection. So if the matter of the issues preserved for appeal, you ought to be able to appeal on the issue raised to trial as well as other issues.

But if your trial lawyer failed to object in the first place, well, then it’s not preserved for appeal, you’re not allowed to appeal on an infinite number of issues from trial, if they were not objected to a trial. They were not preserved at trial. But so long as they were preserved by an objection of trial, they’re amenable to subject matter for an appeal.

Now, that said, there are some errors that can occur to trial that rise to constitutional levels. And those don’t require preservation by an objection. One of those is that you had inadequate counsel, obviously, if you’re claiming your counsel was incompetent, the fact that he did not object at trial, arguably, is just another sign of his incompetence. Right. So it’s not required that I mean, you wouldn’t expect a trial lawyer to object arguing that he’s himself and competent, right. So there are some issues that rise to constitutional dimensions that don’t require preservation.

By objecting, they’re just automatically ripe for appeal. But to play it safe, you want that objection on the record to make sure whatever the issue is, is preserved.

Let’s see anything else? Yeah, plenty of comments on the porch pirate video.

One thing I would say is if I were advising that homeowner for the future, it might be beneficial to his narrative of innocence if he had, instead of cycling the bolt out on the porch, cycle the bolt inside his home before he stepped down on the porch.

So if the bolt was cycled, and he doesn’t have to cycle the bolt in front of the thief, well, once he cycles, the bolt that removes all ambiguity, and that removes all ambiguity about the homeowners intent, right? He’s clearly intending to put the thief in fear of imminent deadly force harm. That cycling of the bolt in front of the thief removes all ambiguity.

But if it’s simply stepped out on the porch with the AR in hand, he could have said, Well, listen, I wasn’t trying to threaten the thief with the gun. I happened to be showing the gun to my friend, just inside the doorway, when I saw the package being taken, so my possession of the gun when I stepped out on the porch wasn’t intended to strike fear into the heart of the thief. It was completely incidental. I just happened to have the gun in my hand.

You believe that? Well, no way to disprove it, right. But once he steps on the porch and cycles of Bolton, that argument goes out the window.

Alright, let’s look at the Facebook question.

Let’s see what we have here.

 

Donny O., mentioned Georgia citizens arrest law is a lot older than 1863. It’s a codification of the English law of citizen’s arrest. Donnie is a member of Law of Self Defense, he comments quite a bit on our website, which is greatly appreciated. He’s a very insightful guy, likes to reference Old English common law.

And that’s certainly true. Most American common law was simply adopted from Old English common law when we became a country. And only much later, was it codified, turned into statutes. In fact, in some of our older states, our original states, states like Massachusetts and Virginia, most of their self defense law, for example, is really still common law and case law court law. Virginia and Massachusetts don’t have a lot of self defense statutes. Massachusetts, basically has no self defense statutes. It’s all court law case law, which itself is derived from the underlying common law.

And it’s true, I’m sure Georgia, citizens rest law was originally derived from from common law. When I say 1863, that’s when it was codified. So the current statute was created in 1863, obviously, in the midst of the Civil War.

Okay, so I think those are all the questions that have come in personally.

What to Look For, and Avoid, in Self-Defense Insurance

So let me touch back on this question about what to look for in the last 10 minutes or so that we have what to look for, and arguably avoid in the context of “self defense insurance.” Now, I put self defense insurance in quotes because most of the organizations offering these kinds of policies will pay for your legal defense will cover your legal costs if you’re involved in the use of force event. Most of them are not actually insured. In any case, even if they are insured, they’re not offering insurance.

Our sponsor, CCW Safe, for example, is backed by an insurance company. It’s an insurance company they own, its what’s called a captive insurance company. It’s located offshore, so it’s not subject to certain, you know, anti-gun anti-self defense, political dynamics we see here in the US.

They’re backed by insurance, but they’re not selling you insurance. CCW Safe is not selling its members insurance. There, they provide basically, legal reimbursement services, and their CCW Safe themselves are insured against the payment of those sums to members. But when you sign up for CCW Safe, you’re not getting insurance or getting a legal service membership, basically. And then there are others, companies that are not covered by, even themselves are not covered by any insurance, but they’ve commonly become known as self-defense insurance companies. So we’ll use that phrase here having explained how it’s not really applicable.

So when you’re looking at any of these companies, and you know, the major ones are CCW Safe, USCCA. Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network, Law Shield, there’s a new player on the block Xinsurance, I talked about them recently. And, of course, there was NRA Carry Guard, that’s now defunct, no surprise

So those are the major players and the things that I encourage people to look at when they’re considering any of these programs. And again, full disclosure, as we said at the beginning, obviously, CCW Safe is a sponsor of this show. And I’m a member personally of CCW Safe.

Things to look for when you look at these programs is one key question to ask yourself is, does the program I’m looking at offer sufficient resources to me in the event, I’m involved in the use of force event, I’m criminally charged? Do they offer sufficient resources to actually fight the legal fight? Because some of them don’t, folks.

So for example, if you look at USCCAA, they have various levels of membership. I think that the highest level of criminal defense.

Now I’m not talking about civil suit coverage, forget civil suit coverage, because a lot of these programs will say you get a million dollars in civil suit coverage. And that’s awesome, I guess. But I don’t really care about the civil stuff. I care about the criminal stuff, are you going to spend the rest of your life in prison, that’s what I worry about. So I only focus on the criminal defense reimbursement.

And USCCA’s highest levels of coverage, I think the highest level is $250,000. That might be their platinum, or whatever they call that highest level of coverage. The level below that’s $150,000 in criminal ddefense coverage.

And that’s a lot of money, folks, quarter of million dollars is a lot of money, no question about it. But if you’ve killed someone in self defense, and you’ve been charged with murder, and now you’re having to justify that killing as self defense of trial, folks, it’s routine for murder trials to go through a couple $100,000 pre-trial, before the trial ever starts, you’ll go through a couple $100,000.

So $250,000 is not enough for a murder trial, if that’s the cap of that coverage under the USCCA plan. So I almost don’t care what they charge because it’s not enough. They’re not providing the level of resources you would need if you’ve killed someone.

Now, if you haven’t killed someone, if you’re charged with aggravated assault, for example, well, yeah, then $250 is probably enough. But the whole reason we’re considering these kinds of programs is we don’t know if or when we’re going to be attacked, or what the nature of the attack will be, or what the outcome of the defense will be. You pull your gun you may have to shoot someone, you shoot someone they may die. So you may well be facing a killing case, a murder or manslaughter case. And $250 grand id not enough for that, folks.

By the way, what happens if you get a mistrial, and you have to go to trial again, or if you get convicted, heaven forbid, and you have to appeal that conviction? Well, USCCA says they’ll cover that too. But they’ll cover that under the same cap.

Well, the cap’s $250, and you’ve expended $250, maybe $200 pre-trial plus the last $50 at trial, which is not nearly enough, there’s nothing left for a retrial for an appeal. They’ve met their obligation. And that’s it. You can’t look at them for any further help.

That doesn’t make them a bad organization. They tell you all this upfront, if you read the fine print of the membership, so they’re not deceiving anybody here.  I’m not trying to suggest any malice on their part. I’m just trying to suggest that what they offer is not enough to fight the fight.

Another very popular program that’s out there is the law shield program, Texas Law Shield US Law Shield. There’s lots of they’re all related kind of they’re slightly different in each state. And I just talked to the leadership of Law Shield recently, two nice guys, I think well intended.

The difficulty with the Law Shield programs is the way it is. And again, I’m not trying to suggest any malice or anything on their part. But the way the company is structured is they put together a network of lawyers. And those lawyers agreed to take on cases of law shield members on a capitated basis, meaning they get a flat sum of money to handle the case.

Now, I’ve asked Law Shield, what those levels of money are for different cases, and I don’t get a response. So I’m not trying to suggest malice on their part. But I’m not sure why they would not want to tell me what those levels are that they pay their network lawyers for different cases.

I can tell you that the lawyers I know the who are of sufficient quality that I recommend them to Law of Self Defense Members actually involved in the use of force event will not take a case for the amount of money that Law Shield offers.

So let’s pretend for example, that it’s a murder case. And I’m going to make up a number, I have to make up a number because Law Shields won’t tell me what the real number is. But let’s imagine that a Law Shield member’s involved in a shooting, they’ve killed someone in self defense, they’re charged now with murder. And that Law Shield network lawyer is going to get a flat fee of $50,000 for that murder trial, or $100,000 or whatever.

That’s not enough folks. A murder trial. can easily be hundreds of 1,000’s of dollars.

So now what’s going to happen? The lawyer knows if he takes the case, he can only get $50,000. He’s not going to take that case for $50,000, no credible, skilled capable attorney is going to take a murder case for $50,000. Especially a case of the complexity of a self defense case.

So what’s going to happen? Well, maybe they’ll take it, right. I mean, some lawyers will. Let’s face it, there’s a bell curve of lawyers, right? There’s the guys on the far left of the bell curve, maybe they really need that $50 grand, they’ll take the case.

But you don’t need a $50,000 defense, you need a $300,000 defense or a $500,000. Defense.

It’s like if you need to chemotherapy for cancer, right? What if you need $500,000 in chemotherapy, but some guy’s willing to give you $50 grand? worth Does that sound like a good plan? It doesn’t sound like a good plan to me.

So you’re either going to get a $50,000 defense or the lawyer is going come to you and say, listen, they’re given me $50 grand, I can’t, I can’t take this case for that. But if you can come up with the other $450,000, sure, I’ll take the case. Well, if you have to come up with the remainder of the money, what good was the coverage in the first place? So I just can’t recommend Law Shield on that basis.

One of the things I like about CCW Safe is there is no cap on their coverage. They pay what the legal defense costs period, and they pay the lawyers actual costs. It’s not some kind of capitated number, and this could be hundreds of 1,000s of dollars and they’ve paid that in actual cases. And if you get a mistrial, you get tried again, they pay that second trial. If you get convicted and you appeal, they pay for the appeal. No cap folks, you don’t exhaust your resources.

Another worthy organization to look at is Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network. They have kind of a legal defense fund they put together from membership fees. Marty Hayes, the founder, Armed Citizen Legal Defense Fund, great guy, his wife Gila is also involved, great woman. Their board is fantastic. Tom Givens, Mas Ayoob, Dennis Tueller, John Farnam

My only hesitation with them has always been well, I’m not sure how big that Legal Defense Fund is, and if it could be exhausted. Some months ago, the last time I brought this up, Marty emailed me or texted me, I couldn’t find the message. I’m sorry. But he said, Hey, the legal defense fund is currently this amount. And it was a sizable amount of money, no question about it. I don’t remember what the amount is. I apologize.

But I don’t think it’s secret. So I think if you’re interested in Armed Citizen, Legal Defense Network, and you ought to look at them as an option, at least considered them. I think if you ask them what the size of the Legal Defense Fund is, they’ll just tell you and you can decide whether or not you’re comfortable.

But then for my purposes, CCW Safe is the best fit for me. But they may not be the best fit for you.

Something else to consider is a lot of these plants have certain exclusions that you may not like. So they may exclude certain weapons, they may only cover like a concealed carry firearm, but not a weapon of opportunity, or they may exclude certain states. I mean, in some cases, states are prohibiting them from offering services, they may exclude events where there was alcohol involved, or they may exclude events in which it was a domestic type of dispute event.

So just know what you’re buying from any of them yet, those conditions exclusions may not bother you, then that’s fine. But they may bother you in which case you may want to look elsewhere for coverage.

And again, just to mention our sponsor one last time before we close that it is CCW Safe, I’m a member there. And I would encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer at http://lawofselfdefense.com/ccwsafe. And you can get 10% off your membership with the code LOSD10.  LOSD for Law of Self Defense, and the number 10 if you decide to become a member with them.

So we’re going to wrap up

Now, last couple things I want to mention before we close out again, you can send your questions to us at show@lawofselfdefense.com. And we just compile those for consideration for future shows. So you can send those to us at any time.

Don’t forget, you can also get this show as a free podcast. To find the link at Apple podcast, Google podcast, Spotify, Pandora, iHeart, any of those, just go to http://lawofselfdefense.com/freepodcast and you’ll find links to your preferred platform there.

And with that I’ll simply close out by suggesting to all of you as always folks, if you carry a gun so you’re hard to kill, that’s certainly why I carry a gun. So I’m hard to kill, my family is hard to kill. Well then you also owe it to yourself and your family to make sure you know the law so that you’re also hard to convict.

Alright, folks, until next time, I’m Attorney Branca for Law of Self Defense. Stay safe.

6 thoughts on “News/Q&A Show: Feb. 18, 2021”

  1. If Georgia completely repeals the statutory right to make a citizens arrest, then a person who is witnessing a forcible felony or an atteempt to esczpe by use of a deadly weapon, will not have any legal authority to arrest the felon, his only choice will be to beat the hell out of him or to immediately kill him in defense of others. No more taking a violent felon at gunpoint and holding him for police. This kind of crap happens all the time when people who don’t know what they are doing start trying to change laws that were adopted by custom over the past 1,000 years. Some people, especially the left, just aren’t near as smart as they think they are.

  2. Andrew: I don’t guess this is to far off topic, but did you watch the Rittenhouse probable cause hearing? December 3, 2020, I believe. I thought an analysis of that hearing would be interesting, but if you commented on it I must have missed it. Several things in it I found interesting in the hearing, the most interesting was that the state presented no evidence that a felony offence was committed at all. There was evidence sufficient to show probable casue to believe that Rittenhouse used physical force upon others, but no evidence to show probable cause to believe that his use of force was an offense at all.

    1. Attorney Andrew Branca

      I didn’t see the Rittenhouse probable cause hearing.
      The sad truth is that probable cause hearings are largely the same kind of joke that grand juries are–if the prosecution wants an indictment he gets an indictment, and if the prosecution wants to go to trial, they’ll go to trial. About the only way I can see a probable cause hearing having charges dismissed is if the claim is physically impossible–for example, the defendant was actually already in prison on some other charge when he was supposed to have shot the victim on Main Street.
      Best to think of a probable cause hearing as a forum for the prosecution to make claims about what they hope to be able to prove at trial, as opposed to actually having to have a certain threshold of proof at the actual hearing, and then the judge deciding whether probable cause exists ASSUMING the prosecution is able to actually meet those self-made claims.
      Even probable cause hearings that, in hindsight, clearly used false claims to get a defendant to trial–as happened in the Zimmerman case–don’t result in anyone being held accountable, and the defendant still ended up going to trial.
      From a technical perspective, your expectation of how a probable cause hearing ought to operate is right on. From a practical perspective, that’s just not how they’re done.
      It’s terrible and unjust, but that’s just the way it is.

      1. The defense did move for dismissal of the charge of unlawful possession of a weapon for lack of probable cause. The only good thing that came of that was that it did force the prosecution to reveal his legal theory. Seems the prosecution believes that the statute doesn’t mean what it says. The prosecutor’s theory is that the subsections of the section must be read in isolation, and that the possession of a rifle or shotgun is prohibited by persons under 18 unless the person’s possession is for hunting.

  3. Andrew,
    I don’t think I’ve seen you mention Firearms Legal Protection before that John Correia with Active Self Protection endorses. They state they are uncapped legal defense coverage for all legal weapons and have civil “coverage” as well. If you have looked into them at all, what is your opinion? Thank you.

    1. Attorney Andrew Branca

      I’ll cover FLP as best I can in next week’s News/Q&A Show–by “best I can” I mean that I’ve contacted them for details on how they work, and I’m somewhat dependent on them getting back to me with responses. Of course, if they don’t bother responding, that would be a pretty big red flag.

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