The following is a video transcript.
IT ALL HAPPENS IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE
Self-defense incidents begin and end so fast, you don’t have time to think. For this reason, it is imperative that you have a plan in place and access to an attorney before the worst happens.
Consider U.S. LawShield member David. David witnessed a suspected felon fleeing from a Lowe’s parking lot, attempting to run over the police. Concerned for the safety of the officers, David drew his firearm and discharged a single round, which struck the attacker’s vehicle. The attacker was soon apprehended, but David’s story wasn’t over.
To David’s surprise, after the attacker was placed into custody, the officers began investigating David for a potential crime. Fortunately, David had a plan: U.S. LawShield.
David promptly called the U.S. LawShield Emergency Hotline and an Independent Program Attorney was immediately able to assist him. Even though he was acting in justified defense of a third party, that didn’t stop the police from investigating David and the prosecutors from presenting the case to a grand jury. While the grand jury ultimately no billed David’s case, we should not forget the valuable takeaway from this case.
Even if you were acting in justified self-defense, you may still have to defend yourself against criminal charges. Although you did everything right during the incident, what you do and say to the police and 911 operator could make a difference between spending the night at home or in jail. Therefore, it is imperative that you are prepared and know exactly what to do after an incident.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO FIRST?
First things first, if you or someone else is injured and needs immediate medical attention, call 911. Do not wait. While the moments following a self-defense incident are critical, remember, all 911 calls are recorded. Anything you say can and will likely, be used against you. For this reason, when the operator answers, be brief: do not give the operator a detailed description of the incident or the events leading up to it. Always avoid words like “shot” and “killed.” Simply tell the operator:
- your name and location;
- that you are the victim of a crime;
- request EMS and police be dispatched;
- A general description of what you were wearing to avoid any confusion by police when they arrive; and
- THEN HANG UP.
YOU NEED TO TALK TO AN ATTORNEY ASAP
You need to talk to an attorney before you make any further statements to law enforcement. As soon as possible, call the U.S. LawShield Emergency Hotline, the number located on the back of your member card, and follow any instructions that your Independent Program Attorney gives you. Try to make this call in a private area where you can be alone and can speak in confidence. The Independent Program Attorney will be able to advise you on your specific incident and give you immediate, personalized legal advice. If you cannot get to a private area, simply give the attorney your name, member number, location, and what type of emergency you’ve just experienced. Politely but firmly invoke your rights with law enforcement. Taking these steps can mean the difference between your freedom and your incarceration.
Politely but firmly invoke your rights with law enforcement. Taking these steps can mean the difference between your freedom and your incarceration. Unfortunately, there are some instances where an arrest is unavoidable. In the event you are arrested, if you have a U.S. LawShield emergency plan, your independent program attorney will be able to use the information you provided to contact your loved ones.
ALWAYS BE PREPARED
Events like David’s illustrate exactly why it’s so important that you prepare a comprehensive self-defense plan to get the help you need after an incident. Exclusive services such as the U.S. LawShield emergency plan ensure that if you are taken to jail, your Independent Program Attorney has a point of contact of your choosing to work with and hopefully get you home to your family sooner.
Take advantage of our member-exclusive services. Call us or log into your member portal today and make sure you have an up-to-date emergency plan. Make sure your Independent Program Attorney has access to the critical information needed so you have the best possible assistance if you are arrested following a self-defense incident.