Man Who Pulled Gun in Mask Dispute Will Face No Charges

Vincent Scavetta, who pulled a gun on a fellow customer at a Palm Beach County Walmart, will not face charges related to brandishing the weapon. This news comes after the story of Kyle Rittenhouse broke. Rittenhouse is charged with bringing a weapon that was illegal for him to carry at the age of 17 into a protest zone. He now faces charges of first-degree murder, first-degree reckless homicide, reckless endangerment, and being a minor in possession of a weapon. In this article, we’ll discuss the ways Florida’s stand-your-ground statute differs from other states.

Florida Has the Most Permissive Law in the Land

Typically, when a defendant faces a homicide charge they can plead self-defense and the jury comes to a decision based on the evidence. While duty-to-retreat states require that a defendant exhaust all avenues of retreat before lethal force (or any force) is justified, stand-your-ground states do not impose a duty to retreat before lethal or any force is used.

Florida’s stand-your-ground law goes further than most other stand-your-ground laws in other states. The law states that the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove that the defendant wasn’t in fear for their own life when they fired the shot.

Wisconsin is a different sort of state. Under the law, there is neither a duty to retreat nor a right to stand your ground. The determination on whether or not self-defense is justified is made based on several considerations. The most important of these is the question of provocation. Furthermore, Wisconsin has a felony murder rule that allows an individual to be charged with felony murder if someone dies while committing a felony.

Thus far, there is only one charge that Rittenhouse is facing that could trigger a felony-murder prosecution. That would be some form of reckless endangerment. Being a minor in possession of a weapon is considered a misdemeanor under Wisconsin law. Meanwhile, the couple in Missouri who became famous after the news had them defending their property with weapons are being charged with “flourishing” (read: brandishing) a weapon for the purpose of intimidation.

No Charges for Vincent Scavetta

The Palm Beach County district attorney declined to file charges against Vincent Scavetta who was arrested following an incident on July 12 during which he pulled a handgun and brandished it at a shopper at Walmart. The other shopper confronted Scavetta because Scavetta was not wearing a face covering. Scavetta faced charges related to brandishing the weapon and aggravated assault with a weapon.

Logistically, it’s very difficult for prosecutors in the State of Florida to charge such crimes because the law puts such a high burden on them to prove what a defendant was thinking at the time of the incident. The police said that new information and a more complete video caused them to rethink the prosecution.

Talk to a Palm Beach County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’ve been charged with a crime, call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.


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