Therefore, there are several things you MUST communicate:
THERE IS NOTHING MORE YOU NEED TO SAY!!
- "I WAS IN FEAR FOR MY LIFE!!" (or, in fear for the life of the person you went to the aid of)
- "I was forced to defend myself (or the person you aided)
- Describe the perpetrator(s) / assailants as best you can
- Describe yourself and what you are wearing
- Request medical assistance if anyone is injured
- Ask the dispatcher what he/she wants you to do next
You do NOT need to answer the dispatcher's questions about what happened. If you do, YOU MAY BE GIVING UP YOUR RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT!
If (or when) the police arrive at the scene, you may restate what you told the dispatcher, BUT DO NOT DISCUSS WHAT HAPPENED! The police will do their job. One of their jobs is to try to get you to talk. DO NOT GIVE IN TO THE NATURAL DESIRE TO DEFEND YOURSELF! That is what your attorney is for. CALL YOUR SELF-DEFENSE ATTORNEY! You should EXPECT that you will be going to jail. Be happy if you do not, but do not be shocked or surprised if you are pushed to the ground, handcuffed and arrested! FOLLOW the directions of the police officers arriving on the scene. DO NOT TAKE ANY QUICK ACTIONS!! You do NOT want to be shot in the confusion.
In addition to repeating what you told the dispatcher, tell the police officer(s): "I am going to exercise my right to remain silent at this time, and I am requesting to speak to my attorney." If you don't say these "magic words," the police can go right on interrogating you. They are NOT required to read you your "Miranda Rights" unless they are going to arrest you AND question you. It is part of the investigative officer's "tricks of the trade" to "interview" you, to tell you that they are "investigating what happened" and, even in response to a question, to tell you that if you come in and talk to them, they will not charge you.
REMEMBER: THE POLICE ARE ALLOWED TO LIE TO YOU AS A PART OF THEIR LEGITIMATE INVESTIGATIVE AND INTERROGATIVE PROCESS!! You, however, are NOT permitted to lie to them.
CALL YOUR ATTORNEY!!! Your defense lawyer should have experience dealing with these matters, dealing with police investigators, and experience with the techniques used by the police and investigators to get you to talk.
We provide a free initial, confidential telephone consultation. We are also associated with the NRA Self-Defense Insurance and the USCCA Self-Defense Insurance programs.