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Failing to report a shooting can lead to criminal charges

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Criminal Defense

In Missouri, the law mandates that individuals promptly report any shooting incident, whether accidental or intentional. The person who fired the weapon has the responsibility to report. You might believe that withholding information or failing to report the incident can help you avoid legal consequences. However, doing so could potentially result in criminal charges.

When you must alert law enforcement immediately

As a certified gun owner, you have a responsibility to use your weapon safely. This is because even pointing your firearm at someone can pose a risk and potentially be deadly. If you discharge your gun and cause injury or death to another person, you should act fast. It’s crucial to report the incident to a police officer immediately. If there’s no officer nearby, you should inform the nearest law enforcement agency.

Ignoring this responsibility can lead to serious repercussions. The consequence could be a Class A misdemeanor, which could mean up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $2,000 or both. If you have a prior conviction, the situation could worsen. You could face a Class E felony, which carries a heavier penalty of up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Defenses for not reporting the incident fast enough

Missouri law allows certain defenses in cases where there is a delay in reporting a shooting incident. For instance, if you’re in the process of obtaining medical assistance or attempting to report the incident, the law might not view this delay as a violation. But remember, this doesn’t exempt you from the legal consequences of the shooting itself. Other factors at play could potentially influence how a court views the situation, making it important to understand the full scope of the law. These are just a few examples of the complexities involved in such cases. Given the severity of the situation, you should consider seeking a legal professional. They can clarify your situation, guide you through the legal process and advocate for your best interests.