In our Law Focused Free Concealed Carry classes we spend time talking about what motivates Prosecutors, District Attorneys and the rest of the Criminal Justice System to file charges in self defense cases. Most people look at that decision as being decided on moral grounds. The truth is, it’s a simple practical decision, for the most part.

The chances of charges depend on the chances of a conviction. In this news report out of San Francisco in which a security guard fired in self defense, the local news reports exactly what the District Attorney said about criminal charges.

The lesson we take from examples like this is simple: a case that is not likely to get a conviction is a case that is less likely to get charged. The legal outcome is pragmatic and also highly dependent on the circumstances. You cannot predict the circumstances under which you will need to defend yourself. It’s your job to win the fight, and it’s your job to be prepared for the legal fight afterwards. Making yourself hard to convict makes you less of a target for a DA. Don’t gamble with your legal outcome, have a plan.

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