Why Having a Lawyer is a Key to Personal Defense

by
posted on April 7, 2021
sheriff-jim-5-28-15.jpg (13)

From time to time, we have suggested that defensive shooters obtain the advice of a good attorney. Now, mind you, I am not talking about just any attorney, but rather one who specializes in criminal-defense work, ideally in the same jurisdiction. A criminal-defense attorney can not only explain the state’s deadly force statutes, but also the case law that pertains to it.

Case law refers to those court cases that effect how the state law is defined and accepted. The lawyer can also advise the citizen how to respond to questioning by police investigators. If the police take a citizen into custody following a defensive shooting, an attorney may well be the best friend that citizen can ever have.

Following a defensive shooting, the armed citizen will nearly always be taken into custody. They may be simply escorted to the station for questioning. Or, they may be handcuffed and placed in jail. Either way, the stress is huge and that is really not a good time to start trying to find an attorney for representation and advice.

As honest citizens, we want to cooperate with any police investigation. However, by electing to make a statement without legal representation, we may use words, phrases or explanations that won’t sound so good when they are read back to a jury. After all, there is a lot of stress involved in a violent confrontation. We may be scared. We may be mad. And we are probably not thinking straight at this point.

My personal decision is to tell the police very little. “That man tried to shoot me. I shot him and his gun is lying over there. I’ll be happy to give you a full statement, but I would like to have my attorney present when I do that.” Already having the name and number of an attorney at hand can expedite the situation and may prevent me from having to spend the night, or nights, in a jail cell.

The next important thing, apart from having an attorney, is to follow legal instructions before, after and during the entire episode.  If your lawyer says “Don’t talk,” then don’t talk, just use the phone as soon as you can and get your attorney by your side. Good counsel will start clearing the way for your release before you have even completely calmed down from the traumatic event.

There are also a number of organizations that offer legal representation to their members. A defensive shooter might be well advised to check these out, compare what they offer and select the one that best suits individual needs. 

Being the victim of a violent attack is traumatic and stressful. But you don’t have to face it alone. Getting good legal advice and representation is just as important as training to defend yourself. Prior planning is the key.

Latest

Sheriff Jim Wilson
Sheriff Jim Wilson

Keeping The Proper Perspective

A firearm is only part of the defensive lifestyle.

New 2011 and 1911 Pistols for 2024

The double-stack 1911 bandwagon keeps rolling right along.

First Look: SIG Sauer 1911-XSeries Pistols

Red-dot ready, right from the box.

Infrared Aiming Devices For Rifles

Using infrared technology can be challenging even with the best equipment, which is why the U.S. Army runs intricate training scenarios to familiarize its Soldiers with these IR devices.

First Look: SB Tactical SBA5 Brace

The latest iteration of SB Tactical's game-changing pistol brace.

Body Language and Personal Defense

The best time to spot a potential threat is beforehand.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.