Whenever a shooting takes place, there is a chance that the person who fired the weapon will face federal charges. Though the news releases and stories about those individuals may seem scary, it is still important for them to have an opportunity to defend themselves. There are two sides, if not more, to most cases, and it’s vital that every defendant gets a fair chance to defend themselves.
Take, for example, the case involving a man who has been accused of shooting into a crowd in Raleigh. Accused of holding his girlfriend at gunpoint and making her drive him to the courthouse in Wake County, the 49-year-old man now faces federal charges for the shooting in which a sheriff’s deputy was ultimately injured. He is also accused of possessing a firearm illegally due to his status as a felon.
The report claims that the man asked his girlfriend, the mother of his child, to take him to a gas station. As she did, he allegedly took out a pistol and told her to drive to the courthouse downtown. In an affidavit from an ATF agent, it’s reported that he said he’d kill her if she stopped the vehicle for any reason. Once they arrived, the man got out of the vehicle and fired in the direction of the courthouse. Then, he made her drive them home where he was later arrested.
Today, that man is charged with attempted murder as well as other felonies, even though no one was seriously hurt in the incident. It’s unclear from reports what motive the man may have had for his actions.
Once federal charges come into play, the seriousness of a case escalates very quickly. Even in a difficult situation like this one, however, it’s a defendant’s right to have the opportunity to explain or to defend themselves. Mitigating factors, such as mental illness or extreme emotional distress may come into play. If you are accused of possessing a weapon as a felon or committing a felony, you have every right to a defense, and an experienced attorney can help protect your rights.