Saturday, January 21, 2006

You shot someone in self-defense, what’s next?


For starters you’ll wish you were somewhere else and could somehow avoided the mess you’re in. Always remember that conflict avoidance is the best policy…

You survived the shooting, now you must survive the criminal justice system. These are ten rules for you to follow:

1. Do not take risks by hanging around because you may still be in REAL DANGER. If you are in no danger, render first aid to your attacker. Remember you only wanted to stop him, not kill him. More than 60% of people who are shot actually live and can be counted on to tell whopping lies about you in court.

2. If you can, take any weapons that were used against you because those weapons will grow legs and run away. You’ll need them for evidence!

3. Don’t call 911 yourself, instead ask someone else to do that for you. The 911 operator will always ask you 20 questions you are far better off not answering. Those calls are always tape-recorded.

4. Call an experienced CRIMINAL lawyer! Get a good licensed private investigator on the scene to find and interview witnesses and look for evidence.

5. When the cops come to you, and they will. Remember four simple words! I WANT A LAWYER. You may add, that you will be happy to cooperate but you want a lawyer present when that happens. Now zip that mouth shut tight! You will want to scream about how you were in fear of your life. DON’T DO THAT!

6. The cops are going to take your clothing, weapons holsters, perhaps even your cell phone too. If your car is somehow involved they will impound it and send it to the crime lab. Your home, office and storage facilities may be searched too.

7. DON’T TAMPER WITH EVIDENCE OR TELL LIES, unless a long prison term is something you always wanted.

8. Turn over all recovered weapons to your lawyer or private investigator for safekeeping.

9. Don’t talk to the media unless your lawyer tells you to do so.

10. Don’t talk to anyone about the case except your lawyer and investigator. That includes family members!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm going to print this out and give this to my lawyer. It makes lots of sense. Thanks!

Lyle said...

I wonder what the cop stuff and gun expert writer, Massad Ayoob would say about this stuff?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info. I was in class a few nights ago and we were talking about this exact same issue.

A guy in my class was in his house. His sister was in the front yard (on her way home from school.) Some black guy started attacking her. My friend got a shotgun and ran to the front porch where he cocked the gun and made that clicking sound when the shotgun is ready to shoot.

The thug took off. My friend called the police. He got arrested for pointing an 'unregistered' gun at the thug. He had to go to jail briefly.

What kind of crap is that????????

Oh... and this is in St. Louis, MO, by the way. I think we rank in the top 3 for the murder capital of the U.S. Wouldn't you pull a gun too? Registered or not???

Crimefile said...

If the gun must be registered not doing so may cause an arrest. Gun registration laws violate privacy.

As for pointing a firearm at someone use of force laws most places require that the gun pointing was used to stop a felony. A simple assault is not a felony.

Was he charged with failure to register, assault or both?

Why to I believe that your friend talked too much when the cops came???

Anonymous said...

He was charged with both I think.

As far as talking too much... I'm sure he did.

He said a couple of the cops agreed with what he did, but a rookie cop in the bunch kept pushing the issue, so he got in trouble.

Anonymous said...

"Remember you only wanted to stop him, not kill him."

----
So when you use deadly force against someone, you say that you are only trying to stop him and not kill him.
It's a contridiction.

Anonymous said...

I live in Chicago and they've had communism, I mean gun registration since the 60's. It used to be a one time thing, then biannually, now annually.

It's a big pain in the ass, but I do register my guns because that's the LAW! If you don't like the law, work to change it.

But there is the old adage, better to be judged by 12 than carried by six. Our friend in St. Louis....why didn't he register the gun? Or wasn't he allowed to?

St. Louis, MO said...

Actually... the gun wasn't his. I think it was his dad's. He didn't say much about the gun itself except that it wasn't registered and it wasn't his.

I don't think he would have ever picked it up or even wanted to use it had his sister not been in the middle of an attack.

Anonymous said...

Gun registration has only one point: to make a legal impediment to the ownership of firearms. Eventually people either forget, let it lapse, or give up. Then they either don't own a gun or it can be confiscated should it come to the attention of the police.

There has never really been a definitive ruling by the Supreme Court on private firearms ownership. Maybe one day there will be.

Anonymous said...

Are these ten rules for people who want to get away with murder?

If your shooting is really justified why not just cooperate with the police unless you have something to hide?

Killing is exactly why every home in America needs to be free of all guns!

This site and the advice you give needs to be brought to the attention of the authorities. It's clear you want to obstruct justice and that is a serious crime.

Anonymous said...

You've obviously never been involved in a shooting before, so the only thing you can shoot is your mouth.

As a copper for over 20 years, I've been: shot at, been with a partner who shot at someone, handled the paperwork of a police shooting, had to shoot someone myself!

All of the above are very stressful to say the least. And during a stressful time, you cannot think in your own bests interests. Those bits of advice are well said. If you're ever advised of your criminal rights, you would be smart to shut up. Thank goodness most crooks don't.

This is not a "how to" dialogue, it's just commons sense to help someone who may get involved in a stressful situation on how to best handle it.

Keep your fantasies within the realm of TV. I'd say more, but good manners tell me to keep my mouth shut.

Anonymous said...

Isn't #2 & #8 in conflict with #7 ?

Crimefile said...

Not at all. The lawyer and private investigator will preserve, photograph and promptly turn over the these items to the proper law enforcement agency without ANY statements from their client.

Anonymous said...

3:29 you are absolutely wrong. I'm a R lawyer, former CPD, and Crimefile is absolutely right. You have the right to an attorney. The dicks have a job. In places like Cook County (mainly Chicago), many an improperly charged defendant (some entirely exonerated) would have been well served to say NOTHING without a lawyer present.

There was a story about two years ago where a kid in Mt. Greenwood shot and killed his father, a CPD tact sergeant. The mother was CPD, IAD I think.

The mother was arrested for battery to the dicks when they refused to quit questioning her son after she requested a lawyer. A lot of people in Chicago thought she should be hung, the police in my family (4 white Republicans) all wanted to give her a hug.

Its not to say that all dicks want to just set people up. But in a place like Chicago, what would make anyone believe that any random dick only wants the truth?

Nope! Get the lawyer, and do NOT speak to the media or anyone else about the incident.

Incidentally, for anyone who does speak to the media, the best advice I ever got was from a prominent attorney who taught a class and said never answer answer questions off the cuff. Always read from a prepared statement that says EXACTLY what you want to say, and take no questions.

Anyway, police officers know to take Crimefile's advice. Heck, its standard union and general lawyer advice. Its right on, and may serve you or other law enforcement officers well in the future should you ever be on the wrong end of one of these incidents.

Anonymous said...

A sergeant was killed by his kid. The IAD officers kid was brought in for questioning. When the IAD mom realized it was turning into more of an interrogation, she lawyered up! When the dicks wouldn't stop questioning her kid, she interfered and got locked up.

She sat in limbo for a while, but the criminal case went to hell. I heard she was going to sue the department, don't know if she did. The detectives think they did no wrong because the kid was a witness. they'll never learn. If you are a witness and it doesn't look good, ask for a lawyer, better yet, leave! if they won't let you leave, you're under arrest, then demand a lawyer.

Mama06 said...

My first reaction to the following knee-jerk comments, (in italics) were to walk away shaking my head. You see, people who write and think in the manner of "anonymous" are often times convinced that their position is the 'only position' and it can be a waste of time and bandwidth to even reply.

However, on the off chance that "anonymous" is capable of listening to views other than his/her own, I'll take the chance and reply.

Are these ten rules for people who want to get away with murder?

Murder, as defined by Webster, is "the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought". There is a huge difference between murder and self defense. The article posted is about self defense.


If your shooting is really justified why not just cooperate with the police unless you have something to hide?

This article does not suggest that one does not cooperate with the police. As a matter of fact, the article actually stated that it was acceptable to let the police know that "you will be happy to cooperate but you want a lawyer present when that happens".

Just because one expects that their legal rights are protected, does not mean that they are uncooperative.

Killing is exactly why every home in America needs to be free of all guns!

And killing is exactly what very well could have happened to my children and me one night if I had no firearm in the home. My husband was out of town on business and two men attempted to break in.

We live in the country, these men crossed a large field and there was no vehicle to carry away items that they may have intended to steal...so why were they breaking in? If I had no firearm to defend the lives of my family, what would have become of us?

The sound of a woman with a firearm was all it took to make them go away. I am so thankful that I did not have to fire my weapon; however, once someone breaks into my home with the intent to do harm (and I doubt that they were there to sell Girl Scout cookies at two in the morning) then they have taken away my choice. If I am forced to shoot someone, it was because they took away my choice not to.

By the way, if you honestly believe that ridding this nation of firearms will prevent murder, think again.

The "U" in USA does not stand for 'utopia'. As long as humans live here, there will be crime and killing. Criminals, those who commit 'murder', do not follow the law and will not give up their firearms. This leaves the rest of us defenseless and at the mercy of the criminal. Believing that one can call 911 and expect to be safe is simply not logical.

If your mind is not completely closed, might I suggest that you read accounts of people who, by owning a firearm, are able to tell their stories. You can find many accounts by simply searching 'firearms saving lives' on the web.

This site and the advice you give needs to be brought to the attention of the authorities. It's clear you want to obstruct justice and that is a serious crime.

Obstruct justice? Now there's a laugh. How is it obstructing justice to ask that one's rights are protected?

As for the authorities, every law enforcement official I know would give and follow this very advice.

When I called the police after the attempted break in at my home, the officer responding said that I had done the right thing and he agreed that it was good that I had a firearm (and knew how to use it) to protect my family.

Mama06 said...

Just wanted to add...

When I scared off the would be intruders at my home, I did not point my firearm at them. I simply yelled out an open second story window that I could hear them, I knew where they were, that I was armed and in fear for my life...and a danged good shot. I then told them that they had 30 seconds to completely vacate my property and that the police were on the way.

I made no direct threat to them; however, I let them know that I would not allow myself to become a victim of what ever crime that they had in mind.

At no time did I want to shoot or harm anyone and I am thankful that I did not have to. I have no bloodlust nor am I trigger happy...I don't even like stepping on insects. It was a very frightening ordeal, to say the least.

When the police were called, I informed the dispatcher that I was armed and asked her to please inform the officer of this. I also informed the officer, before I opened the door to him, that I was the homeowner and I had a .45 on my hip.

He thanked me for letting him know before he arrived at my home that I would be armed.

By being a responsible firearm owner, I fully believe that I averted a situation that would have been much worse. I shudder to think what may have happened to my family if those who would disarm me had their way.

Anonymous said...

is killing someone in self defence a crime??? i still dont get it...

Crimefile said...

Shooting someone in self-defense is never a crime. The follow-up investigation by police will be their best guess and only a guess since the cops weren’t there to observe what happened.

The reality is they may get it wrong and if that happens it very well will be up to a jury to guess guilt or innocence. Here you’ve lost already since you will find yourself financially gutted if you must stand trial.

Of course if the jury makes the wrong guess you may find your whole life destroyed by a imperfect system.

That's why you need to follow the advice I gave.