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Thursday, January 30, 2014

10 Other People You Shouldn't Talk To After A Self-Defense Shooting

One of the many benefits of having a Second Call Defense membership is the education they provide.  Videos, seminars and newsletters.  All, good stuff.

The thing I like the most about this is that it keeps the topic of protecting yourself after a defensive shooting, "top of mind."  In all of my pistol, pepper spray/stun gun, and safety awareness classes, I stress putting yourself - mentally - in a bad situation, and determining how you'll get out of it.  Visualizing the situation, if you will.

For instance, in our pepper spray class, we go over 7 different scenarios at the end of the class.  From road rage, to date rape, to someone breaking into your house while you're there.  The idea is to pre-plan your actions instead of panicking and being caught as the proverbial, "deer in the headlights."

What you do after a defensive shooting can literally change your life.  Make the wrong choices, and you can lose everything.  Financially, you will be responsible for your legal defense bills and any civil penalties.  Lose your case, and you can lose your liberty and the right to keep and bear arms for the rest of your life.

Sobering stuff.

After a defensive shooting, most folks may know to limit their information to the 911 operator and the police.  I want to stress, "may know."  From Second Call Defense's latest newsletter, my commentary on ten other folks you want to keep out of the conversation -

Your spouse - even though they can't be compelled to testify against you, if they freely provide the information, it can be used against you.  "He told me he shot the dirty piece of crap as he walked through the door.  Just shot him dead!"  Think how that could be spun by a prosecutor during your trial.

Your child - just like a spouse, only with less of a filter.

Your friends - your BFF will be contacted, and under threat of criminal prosecution, they MUST testify about what you told them.

Your neighbors - these folks have no "skin in the game."  You happen to live nearby.  Big deal.  As the newsletter noted, 'And it's even less likely that they'll go to any length to protect you when faced with an investigator using words like "murder" or "homicide."'

Your co-worker - again, no skin in the game.  Worse, they're very likely to tell everyone at work what you told them so they have that self-important aura of , "I'm cool because I talked with someone charged with murder." 

A witness - talking to a witness of your actions can only lead to bad things.  The police will ask them if there was any contact between you and the witness.  If the answer is 'yes' - and their statement is beneficial for you - their testimony can be undercut in court by implying you pressured them to testify as they did.

Your doctor - no problem, because of doctor/patient confidentiality, right?  Wrong.  That only extends to the treatment they give you, NOT to the events that led up to the treatment.

Your nurse - ditto to your doctor.

A paramedic - if you're being examined on-scene or being transported, just because this person is saving your life doesn't mean they're your friend.  Like friends, neighbors and co-workers, they've got no skin in the game, and will testify to everything you say.

Your social media world - if you post your story on social media without your defense attorney first approving what you're saying, you're probably too stupid to own a firearm.  Seriously, whatever you post can and will be used as a lawful statement - even as a confession.  Step away from the keyboard!

The list seems pretty inclusive.  Any ideas for others that shouldn't be included in your calling plan?  Your defense attorney is the only person to whom you give all of the details.

Got one on retainer yet?

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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Adam said...

If you have an attorney on retainer, great. But you'll need to provide a statement to the police. Otherwise they are missing a huge piece of the puzzle. They'll have no other choice but to go with the information they have.

But don't tell anyone outside of the police and a defense attorney anything. A normal person has no desire to be involved in a homicide investigation. But your advise is spot on. I'd just augment to it that you shouldn't talk to anyone but your attorney and the police.

Chief Instructor said...

Adam, about the shooting specifically, yes, you provide 911 a statement along the lines of, "There's been a shooting. He came in my house and attacked me. I was in fear for my life. Send an ambulance and the police." Then name, location and your phone number. That's it.

When the officer arrives, I will make no statement other than repeating what I said to the 911 operator, plus, "I've been advised to not make any additional statements until after I have spoken to my attorney in detail. Until then, I invoke my 5th amendment right to remain silent."

I gain absolutely no benefit by describing what happened in detail to the police. I will likely be arrested, I know that. But in the heat of the moment, you are prone to make statements that can be taken incorrectly or out of context, or some other thing that would be detrimental to your liberty.

I am unwilling to take that chance. The investigation into the shooting will not be materially delayed by me not making a fully detailed statement at the time.

Adam said...

I'm going to disagree with your last statement. If you don't have an attorney on retainer and you have to call one in the next business day. Yes, more than likely you'll be arrested.

If I have a body in a house or a front porch, etc. And I have a shooter who says they shot to 911. If there are no other witnesses, I need to be able to explain what happened. If I can't, we go with, there is a dead guy and a shooter.

Obviously, there are other things that would help support your story. If they are wearing a mask, they are armed, etc. But barring that, what other choice does the detective have other than to arrest you? If it's a good self defense shooting, please say so. Things may be different in CA, but in the rest of the US, it's setting yourself up for arrest.

Also, you have no Miranda Rights unless two conditions are met: In Custody AND Interrogation. If either one of those isn't met, then the Miranda Rights don't apply.

If you have an attorney on retainer, then great. Say you have one on retainer, call them in and we can get moving on it.

Chief Instructor said...

[Financial plug] The SecondCall Defense program is just that: You have an attorney on retainer anywhere in the US.

I'm willing to risk arrest to help ensure I don't go to prison for murder. Look at Zimmerman. Just about as clear of a case of self-defense as you can get. the police kicked him free, then politics got dragged in, and he ends up on trial.

There is just no benefit to me "big picture" to talk to the police before I've spoken with my attorney. None.

Also, re: Miranda rights. I am never required to testify against myself under any circumstances, Mirandized or not. The fifth amendment guarantees that right. Before I speak with my attorney, I don't know if I've possibly broken the law, so anything other than stating I did the shooting in self-defense could possibly put my liberty at risk.