As you saw in Rear-Ended, Then Defended Part 1, no one was hurt, and our member Jeremy was neither arrested nor charged. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In Part 2, we will dive deeper into the law, where Independent Program Attorneys will explain the road rage self-defense laws from your state.
Watch the video below to see your Independent Program Attorney – Ed Riley – explain the road rage self-defense laws for Oklahoma.
Sherry: Welcome back to Part II of Rear-Ended, Then Defended. As you remember from the last video, Jeremy’s truck was surrounded by three hostile men after a minor accident.
Fearing for his son’s safety, as well as his own, Jeremy retrieved his firearm from his glove compartment to stop the attack. In this instance, Jeremy’s quick actions deescalated the situation and prevented further threat to him and his child. However, his decision to leave his vehicle while brandishing a firearm his decision to leave his vehicle while brandishing a firearm is not a lawful action in every state.
That’s why I asked your Independent Program Attorney to clarify the law where you live.
Ed: In the specific answer to the question, Virginia has no statute dealing directly with this issue. However, Virginia is a stand your ground state.
Normally, the brandishing of a firearm towards another is a criminal offense in Virginia – a Class I misdemeanor. However, if used in self-defense it is allowed as long as it is a reasonable use of force. What that means is if you come under attack, and you have done nothing to provoke the attack. You have a right to stand your ground and defend yourself.
In this scenario, the member used a threat of deadly force to defend himself when he obtained his firearm and pointed it at the attackers. For justifiable self-defense to apply, you must be under attack through no fault of your own, which is exactly what’s happening in this scenario, and you must have fear of great bodily injury to yourself or others. At that point, you can use reasonable force to expel the attackers to protect yourself or others.
Therefore, because he had done nothing to provoke this attack he was justified in using reasonable force to defend himself and his son from the perceived attack.
Normally, the pointing of a firearm at another person with the intent of inducing fear in that person is a brandishing. In this scenario, the member came under attack through no fault of his own by three men, one of them was wielding a baseball bat.
Sherry: All too often our members find themselves in similar road rage situations all over the country. Please remember, if you are ever in a road rage situation drive to a safe, public location away from the aggressor. However, if you are forced to display, or use your firearm, call 911 first then call your attorney answered emergency hotline located on the back of your member card.
When it comes to legal defense for self-defense we’ve got you covered.