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Old June 26, 2013, 11:31 PM   #1
Koda94
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guilty by association

This is probably one of those questions with unlimited scenarios. Feel free to discuss all and well see where this goes if the thread is popular enough...

Lets say your out with someone and you wind up in a defensive situation. Maybe road rage, mugging, walking into a robbery in progress.... But the problem is the person your with turns out to be a hot head, or just not much common sense... regardless, your acquaintance actually escalates the situation maybe even to the point of actually starting the fight. The situation went downhill fast, and now you find yourself in a self defense situation legally armed with a CCW.


Ultimately my main question is how do the laws work in this case on your behalf? ...would your otherwise 'righteous shoot' be overridden by the fact that the party you were with started it?

Secondly, what can you do in the heat of the situation to protect yourself both physically and lawfully?
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Old June 27, 2013, 08:13 AM   #2
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Less lethal options and recording devices comes to mind. Or if you're friend is a hot head who you think could potentially get you involved in legal trouble I'd say it's time to have one less friend. But if I feared for my life and I wasn't an aggressor I'd defend myself no differently than in any other situation.
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Old June 27, 2013, 08:27 AM   #3
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You are responsible for your own and only your own behavior. Essentially, your friend's behavior has no bearing on your own. That being said, I wouldn't be hanging around with someone I thought would increase the likelihood that I'd be facing a potentially lethal confrontation.
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Old June 27, 2013, 10:39 AM   #4
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Old June 27, 2013, 10:47 AM   #5
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Tell your friend to cool it and then flee. Call the law from a safe distance. Don't perjure yourself for your buddy if he did wrong.
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Old June 27, 2013, 10:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koda94
would your otherwise 'righteous shoot' be overridden by the fact that the party you were with started it?
1)This is why you don't be friends with hot-heads.

2)Flee. Your hotheaded "friend" can sleep in the bed he made. Do not go to jail for him.

3)Always start a recording device at the earliest sign of trouble. New phones with Voice Command are great for this. I just did that very thing a couple weeks ago when a loon when nuts on me. Fortunately, it didn't turn violently physical but it could have easily. All I have to do is hold the button and say "launch Voice Memo", hit the record button that comes up and everything is recorded.

If your friend is starting something, a very quick "Dude, knock it off, I'm leaving." and be gone and I mean BE GONE.

A wise man avoids, deescalates and withdraws from every violent encounter if it's at all safe/possible. The guy who escalates/starts it is no longer an "innocent party" so his retreat and or defense is a non-starter. He's on his own.
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Old June 27, 2013, 01:35 PM   #7
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Lots and LOTS of people have wound up in court and in prison for something a friend/lover/family member got them involved with. Generally the term is "accessory".

basically, ANY time something happens where a law might be broken, and you do not, at the earliest possible moment (consistent with your physical safety) leave and report it to the police, then you ARE legally involved. And likely will be found legally liable.

If your buddy driving decides to try and evade a traffic stop because of a bench warrant you don't know about, and gets you into a high speed chase, you aren't expected to jump from the speeding car. But the first time that car stops and you don't bail out, you are considered to be aiding and abetting, at the very least.

Even things that didn't seem credible have put people in prison. A weird friend who mentions he'd like to blow up a building, for instance....(ok, that particular one is a lot more credible today than it was 20 years ago...)

My point is, that if you know something (even if at the time you think its BS) and do nothing, it could land you in legal trouble. And if you are physically there when something happens, doing nothing WILL land you in trouble, often nearly as much as if you were actually committing the offense.

I don't care if its your best bud, who wounded, carried you through a minefield to save your life, if he is making things worse, and won't stop, you HAVE to distance yourself from him. After all, if you are both in lockup, who's going to bail him out?
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Old June 27, 2013, 01:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koda94
...Ultimately my main question is how do the laws work in this case on your behalf? ...would your otherwise 'righteous shoot' be overridden by the fact that the party you were with started it?...
There's no simple answer. It will all depend on exactly what happened and how it happened.

There is a very real chance that you will be dragged down into whatever mess your companion helped to create. You will need to take prompt and clear steps to unequivocally disassociate yourself from the antagonistic behavior of your companion. That will probably mean walking (running) away from it.
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Old June 27, 2013, 01:54 PM   #9
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If I was hanging out with a close friend, I would let him know I was carrying and our friendship hinged on his ability to act maturely in such a given situation.

If he cannot, then he either has deep-seated issues or does not value your friendship highly enough
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Old June 27, 2013, 02:53 PM   #10
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Lots of good replies and insight, I especially liked 44Amp's

I cant really reply much more now as im on the go, but want to clarify in my OP i mentioned acquaintance, not a friend.
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Old June 27, 2013, 08:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Secondly, what can you do in the heat of the situation to protect yourself both physically and lawfully?
Walk away, quickly if necessary
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Old June 27, 2013, 08:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Ultimately my main question is how do the laws work in this case on your behalf? ...would your otherwise 'righteous shoot' be overridden by the fact that the party you were with started it?
It can get pretty complicated quickly and laws vary by state. However, the "initial aggressor" may lose the right to self-defense unless he/she tries to withdraw. I would think the same would apply to a third person involved. Here's a bit of discussion about it in regard to the "stand your ground" laws. http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...or#post5020103
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Old June 27, 2013, 08:55 PM   #13
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It is somewhat easy to say that someone made his own bed and he can lay in it...and if it is just a case of him getting a good thumping then maybe you allow someone to teach him some manners...but...

The worst case scenario I can see here is the acquaintance starts something or causes it to escalate to the point that you start to fear for his life and are forced to choose between protecting him or letting him be killed or seriously injured. It better be cut and dried justified before you act and pray that the "thumpers" are not a protected class of thugs. Bad situation all around and much better to distance yourself from such people.
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Old June 27, 2013, 08:57 PM   #14
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Don't do stupid things, don't go to stupid places & don't have stupid friends.
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Old June 27, 2013, 09:44 PM   #15
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The 3 S's do come to mind. This is why I try to drill into my kids' head that lives can be ruined just through "guilt by association". Use judgment. Be the one to use 911 or some kind of recording device FIRST. Leave the situation if you can.
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Old June 27, 2013, 09:55 PM   #16
Koda94
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MTSCMike, your worst case scenario would certainly be a tough choice. Another twist on that would be confronted by more than one criminal where your acquaintance escalates the situation and the other BG comes after you, you would have no choice but to defend yourself yet it was your acquaintance that may have even started it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KyJim
However, the "initial aggressor" may lose the right to self-defense unless he/she tries to withdraw. I would think the same would apply to a third person involved.
This is the law in my state, but regardless of the law I would think it rather a complicated defense especially if your [legally] carrying and end up using your gun. I will personally never be the initial aggressor but this law would could into play if you made an attempt to abandon your acquaintance and get out of there.

One thing that resonates in the replies here is leaving your acquaintance to his own undoing. He may come back at you later for abandoning him but in reality, who cares I wont be around them anymore anyways. Real friends may not abandon one another, but real friends don't start fights or compromise their companions safety and legal standing....

Quote:
Tell your friend to cool it and then flee.
Quote:
2)Flee. Your hotheaded "friend" can sleep in the bed he made.
Quote:
The guy who escalates/starts it is no longer an "innocent party" so his retreat and or defense is a non-starter. He's on his own.
Quote:
I don't care if its your best bud, who wounded, carried you through a minefield to save your life, if he is making things worse, and won't stop, you HAVE to distance yourself from him.
Quote:
You will need to take prompt and clear steps to unequivocally disassociate yourself from the antagonistic behavior of your companion. That will probably mean walking (running) away from it.
Quote:
It is somewhat easy to say that someone made his own bed and he can lay in it...
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Old June 27, 2013, 10:02 PM   #17
Koda94
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44AMP, what I liked about your post was this:
Quote:
basically, ANY time something happens where a law might be broken, and you do not, at the earliest possible moment (consistent with your physical safety) leave and report it to the police, then you ARE legally involved. And likely will be found legally liable.
I think that plays a significant part in preventing yourself from being implicated in the situation which is the point of my post.
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Old June 29, 2013, 01:41 AM   #18
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I don't have any friends - that's why I'm on a gun forum at 11:30 on a Friday night.

If I did have a friend who was acting like an a-- (burro) I would get some distance at the first sign of trouble. We've seen how twisted things can get in Florida. It's not worth the legal problems.
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Old June 29, 2013, 07:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
The worst case scenario I can see here is the acquaintance starts something or causes it to escalate to the point that you start to fear for his life and are forced to choose between protecting him or letting him be killed or seriously injured. It better be cut and dried justified before you act and pray that the "thumpers" are not a protected class of thugs. Bad situation all around and much better to distance yourself from such people.
This is indeed the worst-case, and, worse, possibly the most likely-case scenario. There are a lot of men who are of the mindset that if they are involved in any sort of confrontation, well, so are their buddies (and vice-versa). I've known plenty of these cats over the years and this mentality all too frequently escalates a situation from sneers and jeers to fisticuffs and worse.

Don't let your "buddy" determine your conduct on your behalf. If an acquaintance starts or pursues a conflict with someone else, it's HIS fight to win or lose, not yours. I call this the "No I don't have your back when you act like an ass" behavior.

One last thing - excessive alcohol consumption seems to be the catalyst for this sort of thing. So...choose your drinking buddies carefully, if you choose to indulge in public.
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Old June 29, 2013, 12:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koda94
Ultimately my main question is how do the laws work in this case on your behalf?
Maybe they don't....here's a question for the prosecutors: Could a prosecutor ask the defendant before a jury :

"Isn't it true that you helped escalate this fight because you were hoping you could whip out your gun and kill people?"

If not, what specifically is preventing the prosecutor from asking this question?
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Old June 30, 2013, 11:48 AM   #21
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Quote:
Could a prosecutor ask the defendant before a jury :

"Isn't it true that you helped escalate this fight because you were hoping you could whip out your gun and kill people?"
Maybe. You have to have a good faith basis to ask a question but that's usually viewed liberally.
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