Despite the controversy surrounding the case, a court in North Carolina decided not to charge a police officer for a criminal offense in the death of Keith Lamont Scott. Mr. Scott’s family claimed that he was reading a book in his car when the police decided to engage with him. Dashboard camera videos show that he was inside of his vehicle when the officers began to yell at him. He was then seen walking backwards without a gun in his hand. While we have not been shown the moment of the shooting, ultimately the officer fired four shots into Mr. Scott’s back. The government and police claimed that Mr. Scott was smoking marijuana and yielded a handgun when he emerged from the vehicle. They further allege that Mr. Scott was not responding to any commands from the police officers to drop his weapon.
Gun Crime Enhancements
Many times there are enhancements in charges and sentencing for gun crimes because of the nature of the harm that guns can cause. Sometimes, gun crimes can add additional decades onto sentences that would be far shorter had they been without the enhancement. This is controversial because it means that possession of a gun during a crime can enhance a sentence even if there was no intention of using it.
Some common crimes that are charged simultaneously with gun crimes:
- Sex Crimes
- Drug Crimes
- Traffic Offenses
- Theft and Robberies
Self-defense is a common claim that arises as the result of gun crime allegations. The situation with the officer and Mr. Scott above illustrates the fact that self-defense is frequently a successful avenue to pursue to refute gun charges. In a self-defense claim, the defendant is essentially arguing that they had no option but to commit the crime that they committed because they were in imminent danger. This may refute charges of murder, brandishing or an assault charge with enhancements.
For these reasons, it is important to hire an attorney who is capable of providing a compelling defense in court. Gurovich, Berk and Associates are criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles that have experience providing successful defenses to gun crimes.
If you have been charged with any crime please contact us at (213) 385-1555 for a free consultation our attorneys are available 24/7 to evaluate your case and potential avenues to resolve the case. If it goes to trial, we also have experience providing a compelling argument in the courtroom.