We at U.S. LawShield firmly believe in education and training. This applies not only to the handling of firearms and how lawfully to defend yourself, but even to how to use your 24/7 Emergency Hotline! Given that this hotline is your lifeline to an attorney in a situation where everything you say or do will be under scrutiny, it is important to make sure that you are taking advantage of all the hotline has to offer.
Actually Call the Hotline!
The first bit of advice your program attorneys have when it comes to the hotline is to actually call the hotline! We can’t tell you how many times we’ve received calls weeks later about an incident, or even mere minutes after a member has already spilled his or her guts to the police. We can’t help you if you don’t call the hotline, after all. So make sure after you’ve called 9-1-1 to report you were the victim of a crime, and after you’ve hung up with 9-1-1, you call the Emergency Hotline immediately.
What do you do if you can’t call the Emergency Hotline? For instance, if the police have already arrived, or you were attacked without your cellphone, what should you do? Invoke your rights. By invoking your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney, you keep from incriminating yourself until you have a chance to talk to your attorney. In many ways, it is similar to first aid; your goal isn’t to heal yourself. Your goal is to survive until you make it to the emergency room. Likewise, your goal here isn’t to talk the cops out of arresting you; your goal is to make it to your attorney without ensuring a conviction.
What Happens When I Call the Hotline?
Whenever you call the Emergency Hotline, you’ll get immediate access to your U.S. Law Shield independent program attorney. We don’t waste time verifying whether or not you’re a member with a covered incident like an insurance company. We provide immediate assistance to make sure that you don’t incriminate yourself or do lasting legal harm. During the call, we may ask your name (just so we know who we’re talking to), and then immediately dive in to the story.
We may ask you follow-up questions (how big was the attacker, did you think they were going to seriously hurt you, etc.). We may tell you that you story is perfect as-is, and to tell it in exactly the same way to the police officer. If it’s beneficial to have an independent program attorney on the scene (and, frankly, it isn’t beneficial in every circumstance), your lawyer may show up and provide further advice. If someone has already been arrested, we can provide general information as to how the bail bonding process works. The advice you receive will be extremely fact specific, but know that your attorney is prepared to deal with any particular fact situation that arises.
Legal Pro-Tip: Stay Out of Earshot of Others
One pro-tip we can give for individuals who have to use the hotline is to stay out of the earshot of others. This ranges from law enforcement (for obvious reasons) to civilians or even other family members.
Once there was a member who called the hotline in a 3-way call with a family member. This destroys attorney-client privilege! Keeping the intimate details of your situation privileged is one of the few gifts our legal system gives you, so don’t throw it away carelessly. Make sure no one else is around to hear your conversation with your attorney.
As you can see, the Emergency Hotline is an important lifeline to legal representation in dire circumstances, but don’t forget you can always call your attorneys for questions on when you can defend yourself on the business line — even if there isn’t an emergency.
The legal system is stacked against you from the very get-go, so make sure you get all the help from your Independent Program Attorneys that you need. — by Gordon Cooper, Contributing Legal Editor, Walker & Byington