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[–] dayofthehope 0 points 45 points (+45|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I'm not a lawyer, but during rioting it's not unusual for them to drag drivers out of their cars and beat them up or kill them (see LA Riots). Therefore, you could claim that it was in self-defense.

In a worst case scenario, for running over people you could be charged with murder.

Edit: If it was me, I'd probably honk the horn and accelerate then deal with the consequences if one of them didn't get out of the way. As they say better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

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[–] nimrodthegreat 0 points 17 points (+17|-0) ago 

Sounds about right. Make sure they hit your car first, then mow em down. Make sure lawyers don't find this post, otherwise it would be pretty easy to go down for murder.

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[–] 5795301? [S] 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

Yep. I guess I'd rather put the situation more in my control than a mob's.

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[–] pacman2000 0 points 14 points (+14|-0) ago 

It all comes down to if you intentionally run them over or not. You aren't allowed to run people over even if they are blocking your way illegally unless you can prove in a court of law doing so was necessary to preserve life. Technically, even threatening to run them over is illegal and considered making threats, but who the hell is going to be pedantic enough to charge someone with that? Cops would have to really want you for just that. But no, unless you can prove you didn't intentionally hit them or you absolutely had to in order to preserve life you aren't allowed to run people over who block you illegally. If they jump in front of you and you couldn't help it that's a different story. But intentionally doing so when you were capable of not hitting them will put you at fault. That's my understanding of it legally but I'm not a lawyer or anything like that.

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[–] 5795197? [S] 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

I wonder if your car being surrounded and banged on counts as fearing for your life. I'd imagine you'd have to have some sort of video evidence.

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[–] pacman2000 0 points 11 points (+11|-0) ago 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Stuntz_gang_assault

I just remembered this happening a couple years ago. A biker gang surrounded a guys car and beat on it and he ran some of them over. They didn't pursue charges against him.

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[–] pacman2000 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Oh yeah, if it's a he said/she said situation that would suck a lot.

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[–] Possibly_a_Carrot 3 points 14 points (+17|-3) ago 

It varies by state, but in most places if someone is intentionally obstructing the motorway, you have no legal responsibility if you hit them. This is why jay-walking and obstructing flow of traffic laws are on the books.

There would be a lot of social backlash for you from BLM monkeys, but legally, the police would probably just ticket the person you hit with jay-walking and destruction of private property (your vehicle).

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[–] Copernicus 1 points 17 points (+18|-1) ago 

Oy vey!

If someone is stopped in a highway (as the OP stated) and decides to plow through a group (or individual) protester, I can assure you that the outcome would not be as you described.

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[–] Possibly_a_Carrot 1 points 14 points (+15|-1) ago 

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[–] ChicagoSunroof 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Especially with Ms. Lynch as our attorney general!

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[–] SilverBanana 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

That is wishful thinking. If you hit somebody while jaywalking, you are responsible for manslaughter, unless there was nothing you could do to prevent it (e.g. they were walking in a place you could not conceivably see from your vehicle).

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[–] 5795275? [S] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I wonder if that applies if you come to a complete stop and then decide to keep driving or only if it was an "accident".

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[–] birds_sing 0 points 13 points (+13|-0) ago 

The law is kinda fucked up and contradictory. If a lone person decides to walk across a highway they are jaywalking and obstructing traffic. They're breaking the law. But they "technically" have the right of way. You're expected (as a driver) to avoid hitting them, while they're in the process of breaking the law.

If you do hit them, you're in the wrong (even though they were breaking the law when it happened). If it was completely unavoidable, like if they were dressed all in black, it was night, and you were alert with your headlights on, and it was completely unavoidable on your part then you're not in the wrong. But in any other incident, a lone person crossing the highway "technically" has the right of way.

As for protest lines, remember this quote: "Someone pointed a gun at me! Or that's what it looked like anyways." You can run over whoever you want if you use this line. Or you can use it to justify slowly creeping through the protest line as long as you kinda duck down (people will be filming you). Just understand that you'll have to fill out police reports and stuff.

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[–] Possibly_a_Carrot 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

My understanding is that if you come to a complete stop, you are at that point potentially culpable unless the person/persons you stopped for begin being threatening. If they're simply standing there peacefully you are expected to wait for an officer to remove them, else you could be charged with assault with a deadly weapon (if nobody dies), or vehicular manslaughter.

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[–] RedditDead2005-2015 1 points -1 points (+0|-1) ago 

That's assuming the driver doesn't see them. If there are no police coordinating traffic and it's sundown, only a dummy would stand in the middle of a highway. What are protesters going to tell the police? "Well, we were standing in the middle of the highway and these drivers just plowed through us as if we weren't there."

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[–] Copernicus 0 points 11 points (+11|-0) ago 

A lot of bad advice in this thread.

In most normal situations, pedestrians always have the right of way. If you see them, and you have time to stop or avoid them without putting yourself or someone else in danger (i.e. the typical 'if you swerve, you'll kill a bunch of schoolkids' hypothetical), then you must do so. If you see a pedestrian in the street and it's proved that you intentionally hit them (i.e. you could have avoided them or stopped), then you are liable. Plain and simple.

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[–] GoddammitMrNoodle 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

What he says.

Additionally you open yourself up to civil law suits, which generally have lower standards of proof than criminal proceedings. In short if you want to fuck up your life good then run over someone even a little bit on purpose.

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[–] mistermerrr 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Aren't you usually open to civil law suits when you cause damage in a car accident, whether it was intentional or not(except in self-defense)?

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[–] mistermerrr 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I thought you were always liable for paying damages. The question is if you're charged for murder or manslaughter.

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[–] Copernicus 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Liable is used generally to mean culpability. That could be in a civil or criminal sense. Damages would generally be a civil case, wrongful death or negligence brought by the person or the family. And that can be brought regardless of whether the driver is charged criminally.

But if they have you on video stopped and then, without any reason (as the OP seemed to suggest) you decide to just run over protesters, please believe you will be charged with 2nd degree murder at least if one of them dies. Many states allow the government to cover their bases by including all lesser charges for the jury to consider as well. So if they don't get you on 2nd degree murder, they can still get you on manslaughter without any extra effort.

Of course, these protesters are so annoying that you might find a jury to acquit. But people really shouldn't bet on that.

Edit: if you were referring to damages for the accident (aside from the striking the person) then it depends on the state. Some states have no fault statutes. I don't remember exactly what they say, but it shares liability for damages regardless of who is actually at fault.

[–] [deleted] 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] dabork 3 points -1 points (+2|-3) ago 

Because protests have no legal requirement to be inconvenient.

We are given the right to peacefully assemble, it doesn't say we can't be a nuisance. In fact annoying protests tend to work the best.

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[–] upsist 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

This is so wrong. You have the right to protest but you can't just protest any place you want.

For an extreme example, to prove my point, try breaking into the oval office with a group of people to start protesting. Clearly you can't do that. Want to try a military base or the pentagon next? No. You need to protest in a place that is somewhat reasonable.

I am 100% for civil rights and making sure the government does not have too much power but some very basic limits on protesting are necessary so that people are not harmed and society can continue to function. I am not a fan of "designated protest areas" but understand that purposefully shutting down public infrastructure for a political protest is not ok. In other words, intent matters. If the goal of the protest is to terrorize a city by shutting down street that is not ok. If a protest grows so large that streets must be shut down to accommodate, that is different.

Allowing 10 people to block a highway would mean that groups representing a fraction of a percent of the population can legally bring our entire country to a standstill. Further, mildly wealthy people could pay people to do this just to fuck with society.

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[–] TheKobold 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

If you were caught you probably would be taken in and charged with hit and run or something similar and then they would let you fight it out in court. Of course this depends on the cops and the state. The exact opposite could happen too, you could get away with nothing but a stern lecture from a cop who thought you did them a favor.

Both scenarios happen. So it all depends on who is protesting and what state it is in, and then how you drove through them and why.

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[–] 5795223? [S] 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Well I live in a state that ... Uh... don't much like them there kind of protesters... if you catch my drift. So it'd be probably closer to a stern talking too.

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[–] TheKobold 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Probably. Unless some political dickweed wanted to kowtow to said protesters in the hopes of saving face or getting re-elected.

I wouldn't do it unless I was very seriously worried about my safety, or if I had a dash cam and was confident I could claim self defense.

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[–] birds_sing 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I seen one protest video (years ago) where someone was simply creeping their truck slowly through a protest line and the idiots thought he would stop if they laid down in front of the truck. Now understand that they didn't run 20 feet out in front and then laid down. No they just dropped in front and there was no way for the driver to tell what they were doing or where they were. Yeah, a few people got run over.

Found it - Anti-abortion protesters.

Something like this will lead to more than a talking to.

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[–] twentyfive 1 points 0 points (+1|-1) ago 

no shit, i know i wouldn't stop even if i accidentally ran one of these fucks over. they would kill you, or at least stabbed.

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[–] 5795656? 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

The short answer is it puts you on the hook for vehicular homicide. There's a couple of comments here about "self-defense," but when you run someone down with a car, you're charged in most places as if you have a weapon. But it also puts you at risk of vehicular manslaughter, and you will most certainly get charged with various forms of assault, and regardless of what the outcome of the trial is, you will more than likely your vehicle and drivers license taken away.

It's very rare for someone to win a self-defense charge while using a car because the argument from the prosecution will always be, "Why didn't you throw it in reverse?" or "Why didn't you turn the car around" or "You saw a protest ahead of you, why didn't you choose another route?"

The only time I've ever heard of someone winning a self-defense claim involving running people over, it was because a bunch of bikers attacked a family and the idiot bikers filmed it.

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[–] Synisterintent 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Given the current state of affairs I'm sure it would be easy to claim that you were in fear of your life and reacted accordingly.

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