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Dealing with Police after a shooting

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by frizz, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. frizz


    Jul 6, 2012
    Please indulge me again, an note that I am NOT asking you for legal advice...

    My lawyer, who is VERY good, has told me not to even say so much as "I was afraid" when questioned. He advised me to say something like this:

    I want to cooperate with you fully, but my lawyer told me that if I say anything at all before talking to him, he will not represent me. I'm sorry, but I have to talk to my lawyer before I talk to you.
    I'd like your opinion regarding how most cops will view someone after this statement. (Note that it would be said in an apologetic tone of voice.)
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    Can only speak for myself, but to ME, you'd look like someone who planned well ahead to get in trouble with the police. And of course, anything you might have told me about where I could find evidence or witnesses that could prove your story might well disappear. If you've been in a shooting with no witnesses coming voluntarily forward, guy on ground looks like victim, and you look like guilty perpetrator with nothing to say for yourself.

    It's never smart to spill your guts and answer a string of questions in the immediate aftermath of a shooting, but if you don't give the bare bones to indicate the guy attacked you and there might be evidence to prove it, the cop ain't gonna pick that up from a psychic connection.

    ruffterrain likes this.

  3. RussP

    RussP Super Moderator Moderator

    Jan 23, 2003
    Central Virginia
    Mas, if I may ask Frizz a question, please, Frizz, what experience does your attorney have defending persons legally carrying a firearm for self defense, who, in the course of their normal day have used their weapon to defend themselves? Remember these key words: legally carrying, self defense, normal day.

    Thanks for responding and thank you for your contributions since joining this month. I look forward to more of your posts in the future.

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
    ruffterrain likes this.
  4. frizz


    Jul 6, 2012
    Fair question. And a good one at that.

    He has defended around 10 cases of in-home defense, but I am not sure about CCW defense. He has not lost one yet. I will ask him about CCW

    I'll note that he is well-respected in the local legal community, and has been president of a local bar association more than once. He is also involved with state task forces, and enjoys the respect of both sides of the political aisle, even though he is on the left.

    Additionally, despite his general anti-firearm views, he has taken a case of someone who was committed in probate court after a suicide attempt several years ago. Recall that under the last federal legislation, a prohibited person can regain firearm rights if the probate court OKs it.
  5. frizz


    Jul 6, 2012
    Thanks, Mas. I did forget to mention that I started but did not complete law school, and from that alone, I know that it is generally best to invoke the right to counsel.

    Also, I live in a "stand your ground" state.

    Your points are pretty much how I challenged my lawyer. I specifically asked him about telling the first responders that I was scared that I would die right then and there, I didn't see any other way to safety, and that I didn't want to hurt (let alone kill) anyone. (All of this is true. I have enough stress as it is without having killed someone, no matter how justified, on me.) Also, I am known by many to oppose the death penalty on moral grounds as a deliberate, cold-blooded killing.

    In spite of my objections, he stuck to his guns.

    You may know of a tactic used by DAs: They will ask the police officer about what the defendant said, and the cop will repeat something that tends to put the defendant in a good light. The the DA will then ask, "Did you notice anything about his statement?" Cop, "Well, he did not seem sincere about it . . . blah blah blah."

    I have to wonder if my lawyer is in a common mindset that too often afflicts lawyers. They sometimes worry too much about what could happen at trial rather than what can be done to avoid a trial in the first place.

    I will, once again, challenge him on this. But I will slap some cash on the table first.