Dealing with the Aftermath of a Defensive Shooting

posted on November 15, 2021
Sheriff Jim Wilson

Problem #1 might be defined as surviving the criminal attack. All you’ve learned and practiced about marksmanship, gun handling and tactics comes into play in order to defeat the vicious assault on you or your family. And, obviously, this is a large order.  It takes lots of study, training, practice and serious thought. But, I wonder how many lawful gun owners give much thought to surviving Problem #2.

Problem #2 involves surviving the aftermath. Even in a lawful defensive shooting, the armed citizen may be arrested. He or she will certainly be questioned at length concerning the incident. And, let’s face reality, they may be the victim of a prosecutor who may desire to charge them in spite of the fact that their actions were lawful. I am not saying that this always happens, but it can and does happen and a smart person will plan for the worst.

In the event of an arrest, the lawful citizen needs an attorney to represent and advise during questioning. This is expensive. In the event that charges are filed, the citizen will need someone to post bond. This is expensive. In the event of prosecution, the citizen will need a qualified, skillful attorney to represent him or her. And this is very expensive—I mean like very expensive.

This is the reason that, on many occasions, I have suggested that the lawfully armed citizen contact and get counsel from a qualified criminal defense attorney from the very beginning. Uncle Jake, the real estate attorney, may be a good guy and family member, but he is not what a person needs at this point. One needs someone who already knows the ropes in the local area regarding criminal prosecution and defense.

I realize that all of this sounds expensive. It is, but it’s not as expensive as sitting in jail, waiting for your turn at the telephone, and trying to figure out who to call. Not to mention, praying that this stranger you’ve contacted really knows what to do.

Give it some thought. Surviving Problem #2 is just as important a consideration as is surviving Problem #1.


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