As is the case with many legal matters, the answer to the titular question is it depends. As criminal defense attorney Tom Grieve notes, the same case file can end up on ten different prosecutors’ desks, and you’ll get ten different opinions.

The goal is to avoid being put in this position in the first place through proper training to avoid the threat and de-escalate situations. Of course, the timeframe for when can vary. After a self-defense shooting, you can be in court as soon as within 24 hours. But it could also take weeks to months for everyone involved to determine that outcome.

Does Every Case Go to Court?

There’s no guarantee a defender will or won’t be charged after a self-defense incident. Ultimately, prosecutors want to keep the community safe. However, they also don’t want to spend unnecessary time in court if there’s no case.

So what can the good guy or girl do to start the narrative off on the right foot? Though you can’t decide the where and when of a shooting as the defender, education and training can get you ready to respond.

Learn More:

What Is the Cost of a Self-Defense Case in Court?
After a Shooting Series

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