Self defense and brandishing

In Iowa I had an idiot road rage on me. On a four lane road speed limit 45 mph , I am on the outside lane. The guy passed me , then when he was less than 6 ft in front of me he jumped into my lane and slammed on his brakes trying to cause a crash. I was barely able to stop. I consider his action assault with a deadly weapon. He could have caused great injury if I had not been able to stop.

Not knowing this nuts next move I pulled my gun out while remaining in my car. I did make sure he knew I was willing and able to defend myself if needed. He then drove away ending the problem. I thought.

He called the police who pulled me over and accused me of brandishing my gun. I told them after the assault I pulled my gun in self defense. I have front and rear dashcams and offer to show his dangerous actions , they refuse to watch.They told me that did not matter it was still brandishing. The said I was lucky the guy did not want to press charges or I would be on my way to jail, for brandishing.So it ended there with the lieutenant officer giving me a big speech. One year in jail $5000 fine ect,

My understanding self defense cancel out the brandishing offense.

Other opinions welcomed please

I should mention I am a 72 year old disabled vet. My attacker was in his 30’s


I strongly suggest immediately deleting all of this and do not post any of it anywhere publicly.

Between you and your lawyer.


Can you elaborate…is it because it becomes an admission of guilt?
FYI I would not have pulled my firearm!


Welcome to the family and glad to have you on board. You have to ask yourself this question:
Could you have avoided the situation by driving away? Did you really have to brandish your firearm to protect yourself? I can not agree on assault with a deadly weapon by use of a vehicle. Did he exit his vehicle. All of this will come into play if you ever had to go to court on this case. I am taking into consideration your age and disability. But if you had the chance to maneuver your vehicle and call 911 that would have been your best solution. Thank God that the person did not press charges.


Regardless of what preceded you pulling your gun, I would have called the police as well. You didn’t say whether he stopped and came at you with a tire iron or some other potentially deadly weapon, but pulling in front of somebody and hitting the brakes is certainly not considered assault. You’re damn lucky.


It’s 2024 and it’s a lawless chaotic society, and at our age, everything is beginning to feel like an assault. But no reason to draw a weapon!


Legal definition is what matters, regardless what it feels like.


No charges no lawyer… I did fear for my life anyone willing to cause harm by causing an accident is crazy enough to do much more. Definition of self defense


I did back up and go around, he passed me once and forced me over. He could and would have done it again.

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That sounds like reckless driving to me. That is illegal but I suspect it would likely take quite a bit of legal representation and legal fees to convince a jury that it was assault with a deadly weapon.

When confronted with a road rager the best advice I have seen is to get out of the way and give them space. If they continue to engage and threaten call the police and prepare to defend yourself if they end up making a clear and imminent threat of death or severe bodily injury. It is almost always best to leave the handgun in the holster until all other options have been exhausted.


As suggested in other threads, the first guy to call 911 has the credibility chip with the police. Call first…after all, you were in fear of imminent bodily harm or death, right? The logical question from an outside viewer, including the cops, if there was a deadly force situation, why didn’t you call? No phone, no time, or maybe it was just back pedaling. At any rate, call first…and so it goes…


Wise comments here… Dont forget the guy may have your licence plate, and can sue … Be careful what you write.

Hypothetically, if it came to criminal court, the guy could have claimed he spilled hot coffee, or a flea bit him on his behind, and you are the aggressor.


I’m beginning to second guess the situation:
I’m driving home, minding my own business, when an idiot with an attitude appears next to me, expletives flying all over, mimics slitting my throat…I calmly apologize for something I didn’t do.
We part ways, idiots abound, suddenly he appears round the next corner.
Is this considered assault with a deadly weapon and when exactly can I draw my firearm? In reality, I’m screwed or dead!
Dead being the operative word.
It’s a Mad Max world out there. This is not so much a “what if” but when!
On average I saw approximately six of these a day.
1/3 are from road rage. I traveled approximately 100 miles a day. Have been hit myself, sitting at a red light.
They don’t even hit the brakes anymore.
Check any accident scene these days, and search for the skid marks.
Skid marks represent an intent to avoid a crash.
No skid marks, represent, intended crash. IMHO
This is not as hyperbolic as it seems. Not too long ago, did we witness a motorist run down a mother and child on a city street!
This stuff is not beyond the pale.
Disclaimer, not recommending deadly force during traffic incidents!

Blowing off steam!


More good advice. @Alexander8

Key points are: Be the first to call 911, Save the dashcam evidence, Be able to articulate your fear.

In most states “self-defense” is an affirmative defense where you might have to convince a jury.

Be aware that the police don’t charge you with a crime. That is the prerogative of the DA or SA.

Your gun is a last resort.

I wish you well!


Unfortunately there are no skid marks anymore with ABS


I’m sorry that this happened but in future situations, slow your vehicle under the speed limit. Move into another lane. Then find the nearest exit. Don’t ever get out of your vehicle. Never show your firearm unless you are in imminent danger!!

Examples of imminent danger (vehicle situations):

  • Stopped in traffic with no where to go and the threat gets out of their vehicle brandishing a firearm.

  • Someone aims a gun at you and you are unable to get away in your vehicle.


READ your gun laws and self defense laws in your state to get a better understanding or CONSULT a Criminal Defense attorney


Glad you ended up getting a slap on the wrist. Just be mindful next time you notice the same car’s sharing the road with you.

I had a similar incident last month that ended differently.

I was driving to church in San Joaquin County on a beautiful Sunday morning on the left lane of southbound 99 because there’s a slow car on the right lane.

I noticed the car behind me move to the right, speed up and slammed his breaks as he almost hit the slow car on the right.

I was on cruise control and computer sensors have defined the distance between the car in front of me and mine. There was little time to slow down safely to let him cut me off because he changed speed so sudden.

When I realized what he was trying to do, I canceled cruise control in preparation for allowing him to pass. He went back behind my car and before I could move to the right lane, he did and made a quick move to the left, cutting me off with inches to spare.

That’s when things got interesting. He went back to the right lane, now clearly pissed as his front wheels became erratic and his speed went fast-slow-fast.
Then, he rolled down his window and signaled to me to pass him.

I knew trouble was coming so I slowed down and created more distance.

Realizing I’m not biting, he sped away. I have everything on dashcam.

I was carrying and intentionally avoided a potential confrontation. Just not worth it.

Fast forward to this month, a man was fatally shot in a road rage incident. Suspect also involved in a previous case. And two months ago, Amazon driver shot and killed. Both within same county.
Not worth it.


Welcome to the community @Michael1767 !


Rule #1 when talking to police: I don’t know what you’re talking about
Rule #2 I don’t answer questions and I want my lawyer


General recommendations for anybody or nobody, for no particular reason

*Keep right except to pass.
*If someone wants to pass you, let them pass you
*If someone in front of you want to play stupid games like brake checking, brake more and leave them in front of you. Let them drive on.
*Call 911
*If threatened while in your vehicle, driving away is almost always going to be your best bet
*Don’t draw a gun to show it to someone or make sure they know you have it, draw when facing an imminent deadly threat for which using the gun may be needed imminently
*If someone brake checked you, leave them in front of you and let them go on their way. If they don’t drive off on their way all mad, immediately call 911 and stay back/do not approach or pass them, avoid avoid avoid
*I will cooperate 100%, but first I need my attorney. Do not talk further without your lawyer present

My personal opinion, I’m not a lawyer and did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express