If its self defense can it go to trial

Asked almost 5 years ago - Milwaukee, WI

I have a family member who is currently in jail for a self defense shooting. The person he shot was a 14yr old boy only because the 14yr old put a gun to his head my family member shot once dropped the gun and ran from the scene his cousin left with him not knowing he brought the gun when police came to the home they took my family member and did a search of the home to find the gun in the vaccum cleaner the police was informed that the cousin placed the gun there and they let the cousin go my family member has been in jail for a month now the lawyer we have states this is clearly a self defense case so why is my family member still in jail and what are the odds that this case will be thrown out

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Karyn T. Missimer

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . As a lawyer who practices in Milwaukee, WI, I agree whole-heartedly with everything stated in the first answer.

    Good luck!

  2. Kristen R. Zorbini Bongard

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . I also agree with the other two responses and wish to add a bit about the time you family member has been in jail.

    I have often heard it said that the wheels of justice do turn, but they turn slowly. It's true. If you have ever watched an episode of a crime and punishment show on TV, you would think it takes only a month or two from the time a crime happens until a criminal is brought to justice. In reality, it usually takes months, if not years.

    For your family member, that means that he has been arrested and is in jail, probably waiting for the his attorney and the Assistant District Attorney to discuss his case between now and his next court date. The ADA is trying to see if the evidence collected by police, including witness statements and physical evidence like you might see on TV, match up with what your family member is telling his lawyer about what happened. While your family member might be telling the truth, there may be many other defendants may falsely claim self defense. Unfortunately, that also takes time.

    Fortunately, if your family member does end up having to face charges in court, the time he is currently spending in jail would count against any time he could possibly sentenced to jail. I know that he states that this is self-defense, but I have also seen completed jail time used as a negotiating chip in previous cases. It is not *all* bad.

    Best wishes to you and your family member in this case!
    -Attorney Kristen Zorbini Bongard

  3. Howard Woodley Bailey

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Self defense is simply that, a defense. It does not, in and of itself, result in a dismissal of the charges or the release from custody. If the lawyer raises it to the prosecution, there are several possible alternatives that the prosecution has, such as a dismissal, the rejection of the defense by the prosecutor, the amendment of plea terms, etc. The possible dispositions and the position of the prosecutor need to be discussed with the lawyer, who is familiar with the case facts and the present status of the case. Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER I do not practice law in your State. This answer is provided solely for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.

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