Imagine you’ve just been involved in a self-defense incident. Someone threatened the life of you or your loved one, so you drew your weapon and fired a shot. You know you should probably call 911 to get help fast, but what about calling your attorney? You were only protecting your life, but will the police see it that way? What should you do?
STEP ONE: CALL 911
If you’ve used your gun, you need to call 911 as soon as possible. But beware: all 911 calls are recorded, and anything you say can (and probably will) be used against you!
With that in mind, you want to be careful not to give the operator any unnecessary details of what happened. It’s important to NEVER use words like “killed” or “shot” when speaking to the 911 operator. Simply relay the minimum information they need to help you appropriately, (i.e. your name, location, emergency services needed) and state that you were the victim of a crime. Then, HANG UP!
STEP TWO: CALL YOUR ATTORNEY
After hanging up, your next call should always be to your attorney. If you don’t have an attorney who can help you through moments like this, you might want to get one. Talking to them before making a statement to law enforcement will help you avoid accidentally saying the wrong thing and getting yourself in even deeper trouble.
U.S. LawShield members have 24/7/365 emergency access to the AttorneyResponse 365TM hotline, which gives them direct access to an Independent Program Attorney after a self-defense emergency. Day or night, these experienced attorneys are ready to assist you through the immediate aftermath so you don’t have to face it alone.
Once you’ve dialed your attorney, keep in mind these “pro tips” to ensure your call is the most successful:
- Stay out of earshot of others. This ranges from law enforcement (for obvious reasons) to first responders, to even your own family members. The protection of the attorney-client privilege is one of the few gifts our legal system gives you, so don’t throw it away carelessly! However, if someone standing close by overhears your conversation, that person can be called to testify about what you said. So, try your best to get to a place where you can speak freely without being overheard.
- Be ready to provide relevant personal information. Your attorney will ask you to confirm your name, location, and callback number. It’s also a good idea to have emergency contact information (a spouse, family member, or friend) ready just in case you’re arrested. Providing your attorney with this information allows them to give you the best help possible for your situation.
- Stay calm and trust your attorney. You’ve just had one of the worst days of your life, and your attorney doesn’t expect you to have a perfect statement ready. Answer their questions as best as you can, and they’ll help make sure your initial encounter with law enforcement doesn’t worsen your troubles down the road. They’re trained to take control of the situation, so let them steer!
WHILE YOU WAIT…
If the police have already arrived or you weren’t able to call your attorney right away, what should you do? Affirmatively invoke your rights! You have the right to remain silent and the right to speak to your attorney. Remember, your goal here isn’t to convince the police not to arrest you. Also, you should NEVER consent to a search of your person or property. While the police may still conduct one, make it clear that you do not consent.
Remember, ignorance of the law is not an excuse that will hold up in court. You need to be prepared for after the bang too, not only with knowledge of your rights but also with a powerful ally to help defend those rights if they’re ever questioned. If you’re ready to get powerful protection you can count on day or night, check out U.S. LawShield legal defense for self-defense coverage today.