SHOOTING IN SELF-DEFENSE
- Make Sure You Are Safe: Confirm that suspect no longer poses a risk and cannot access a weapon. Scan for other threats. Move to a safe location if necessary.
- Report: Call 911.
- Holster or secure your weapon.
- Call your lawyer, USCCA or ACLDN.
The 911 call
- After a self-defense incident, call 911 as soon as possible.
- Do not give a detailed discussion of what happened. Say as little as possible.
- 911 calls may be used as evidence against you in a criminal prosecution or a civil lawsuit.
This is John Doe, I had to shoot to protect myself/my family/others. The assailant needs medical attention. I am located at __________________ (detailed location information). I am _______________ (description of self)
- Tell 911 precisely where you are and what you are wearing so that information can be relayed to the responding officers.
- Tell 911 what specific services are needed (such as police, EMS, or fire).
- Because shootings are high-stress events, you may not recall all the details or even remember them. Do not give details without first consulting with your lawyer.
- Give a general description of yourself and what you are wearing to avoid any confusion by police when they arrive.
- Essential logistical information that you may need to convey (like you have the intruder held at gunpoint in your living room), but as little information as possible.
End the call
You are not obligated to stay on the line. End the call after providing the necessary information. Operators are trained to keep you talking. The operator may attempt to call you back, but you have no legal obligation to answer.
Prepare for the police to arrive
- Don’t touch. Do not touch anything or move anything.
- Don’t relax. The officers responding to the call may not know you or what type of situation they may encounter. They may or may not be well-trained and experienced. They will be concerned for their own safety. Do not assume they will know you are not the bad guy. When the police arrive, raise your hands above your head with your palms facing forward.
- Follow directions. Do whatever the police tell you to do. Do not argue. Be prepared for the police to disarm you and even handcuff you while they assess the situation.
- Do not give details. Most law-abiding citizens feel they must be forthright and cooperate with the police after a shooting. This is almost never the right approach. Today, most police are even told not to talk to investigators without their lawyer when they are involved in a use-of-force incident. This is because sometimes anti-gun rights and anti-police prosecutors will indict people even when they legitimately fired in self-defense. Most police officers will not hold it against you if you will not talk to them without a lawyer. But even if the police do not like it – DON’T TALK.
- If arrested. Make sure you have an experienced self-defense lawyer. Bail will be arranged. Once you are out it is time to begin your own investigation to show clearly that you were the victim.
After a self-defense incident
- You do not need extra attention and scrutiny if you have been involved in a self-defense shooting. Do not post on social media. Do not talk to the media. Tell your family to give out only the most basic information.
- You want to prevent continued front-page coverage for many reasons, not the least of which is your own safety. An experienced lawyer will help you get your story out.
- Be prepared if the police decide to obtain a search warrant and search your home.
- Keep a level head during this time. Keep your head up.
Clearing Your Name
For an aggressive defense to any serious criminal charge, call us at 601-957-3101 or contact us online.
Evening and weekend appointments are available for urgent matters.