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superdude
August 14, 2006, 11:49 AM
After reading several threads, I have been asking myself "Why shouldnt I call my spouse, or other family member to help talk to the police". It seems to me that they would be looking out for me. I also think that when I do start to carry I would let them know that they would be second on the list to call ( after the police of course.) and what would need be said if i was in another state of mind. I just am wondering why you would call someone else, some reason that I am not seeing. I hope that I never have to shoot anyone, but in the off chance that I do, I want to keep my self on the good side of the law.


P.s. I have been reading post on here for a couple of years. I got my ccw permit a couple months ago but have not gotten a gun ( money things ) yet. But I have found some of the be advice here. thanks!!

springmom
August 14, 2006, 12:02 PM
My CHL instructor was the one who made this suggestion to me in our class. His reasoning was, the scene is going to be traumatic to see. It may be something you really don't want your wife or husband having flashbacks of, frankly. Your spouse may be as incoherent...maybe more so...than yourself. The emotional valence is the issue.

Now, while my priest would also be shocked and sad and horrified, he would be far more likely to keep his head and be able to answer questions in a straightforward way than the hubster would. (And for SURE more so than I would if hubster was involved in the shoot!!!!)

Anyway, that's the reasoning. Myself, living in Texas, I wouldn't call a lawyer first, because I don't KNOW any lawyers, and I would want somebody there that I knew and felt trust in personally....but not a family member, not right there and then.

Springmom

Samurai
August 14, 2006, 12:30 PM
This question was brought up in my own conceal-carry class. And, this is a question that should be resolved by a real lawyer, not by asking an internet forum. However, for a quick recap of the points we covered in CCW class...

People you talk to, and people you "confess" to as having just shot a guy, these people become potential witnesses that can testify against you in court. ("Mrs. Smith, isn't it true that, right after your husband gunned the victim down in cold blood, he called you and confessed that he just shot a guy?") (This example comes from my own carry-permit class...)

The only reason that I can possibly think of for not calling a spouse is that, in certain circumstances, the spousal immunity privilege to testimonial evidence might not apply. So, you must be careful to make sure that you don't create a witness that can be called to testify against you later.

Typically, married spouses share a privilege of confidentiality regarding communications made from one spouse to another. This old-fashioned common law rule was derrived from the concept that a wife was her husband's property, and therefore, a wife testifying against her husband would be like a husband being forced to testify against himself. The catch is, nowadays, wives are thought of (rightfully so) as independent people. So, the reasons for the spousal immunity privilege are slowly being degraded by the modern judicial system. Right now, for the spousal immunity privilege to apply (check local jurisdiction...) the people have to have actually been married at the time the communication was made.

So, if you shoot a guy, and you call your fiance, and she comes to your side, and then later you get married, then guess what? She can be called into court to give an account of the conversation between you and she when you called her for help! And, imagine what that phone call would be like! "Oh, (expletive deleted), Honey! I just shot some dude! Naw, naw... His brains are hanging out... I totally blew him away! No, I'm not scared... I'm fine... Yeah, I killed him... Just get down here, quick! I think I'm gonna be in trouble for this..." (Etc...etc...) The point is, you could potentially say some really damaging stuff.

I guess my advice is, (1) have a plan, (2) review your plan, and (3) when you need it, stick to the plan. This question relates to step no. (2). Talk to a lawyer about it, and make sure that what you propose to do in case of self-defense is really solid.

atlctyslkr
August 14, 2006, 12:31 PM
Maybe a good suggestion for everyone is to find a fellow gun owner to call when something like this happens. Call the police, call your spouse, call your lawyer (or have your spouse do it) but then while you're waiting on the police to show up have that trusted friend on the line.

Double Naught Spy
August 14, 2006, 12:38 PM
After reading several threads, I have been asking myself "Why shouldnt I call my spouse, or other family member to help talk to the police". It seems to me that they would be looking out for me.

They may be looking out for you, but do so wrong. What you are saying is that you would call a spouse or family member, give a statement to that person, and have that person give the statement to the cops with the idea that, what, your statement won't somehow be used against you? Just what is your family member going to say for you that you can't say and if you are in the frame of mind to call and explain things to a family member, why aren't you in the frame of mind to keep your mouth shut to the cops?

Myself, living in Texas, I wouldn't call a lawyer first, because I don't KNOW any lawyers, and I would want somebody there that I knew and felt trust in personally....but not a family member, not right there and then.

Don't you think maybe you should get to know a lawyer. Just how many of your non-lawyer friends in Texas know the law well enough to help you with the police?

Maybe y'all want the friend to be the your representative to the cops? The cops have no obligation to deal with your non-legal representative. Have you considered that aspect?

Syntax360
August 14, 2006, 12:46 PM
I would call the police, then my best friend. I would have him inform my family and girlfriend after I was off the scene and would rather trust him to handle any affairs I couldn't rather than my girlfriend. Like springmom said - significant others have a real bad tendency to not think clearly or objectively you are involved in something traumatic.

springmom
August 14, 2006, 03:11 PM
+1, syntax360. You put it far better than I did.

Double naught spy, I wouldn't think that my priest would talk to the police about what happened. He would be there for me, for my support, to contact people who would need contacting (spouse, kids) to tell them where I'll be.

I'm sure legal counsel is a useful thing, but I just don't lay awake nights worrying that the police would arrest me if I were involved in an incident of self-defense. There are those on this board who bad-mouth the Harris County DA as being anti-2A, and I know that originally when the clarification to the "peaceable journey" law was enacted he blustered about it. But this county, this state, is far more pro-victim than pro-criminal, and I have seen case after case after case of self-defense no-billed in this county.

This is just not a big worry to me. I'd rather have somebody there who cares about me and can help me hold myself together emotionally, than some lawyer. (Nothing against lawyers, hubster's whole family are lawyers except for a couple of them, but they're there for the $$$, not for me.)

Springmom

superdude
August 14, 2006, 04:09 PM
ok I see where everone is coming from. In my case my family are my friends and the only people I would trust to help me out in a case like that. I not saying that they are going to be able to tell the officers what happened. Only I can tell them that. I just saying that they would be there to help me if I was unable to do so. Like giving the officers personal info, name address, phone number, things of that nature. To make sure I get home alright and let other family know. As for telling to officers what happened I would go to a laywer for that stuff.

I would talk to a few people before hand and let them know that I would call on them to help and let them know what I wanted them to do. Give them the correct personal info if I couldnt do so, and get me home safe, look after me till get my wits about me again. The only people that should talk to the police about the events is, The good guy, bad guy, (if he is still breathing) and any eyewhitnesses. Thats it, any good cop wouldnt/shouldnt take info down from someone that was not there to see or hear it.

All this is just somthing to think about incase it affects me to a point that i am no longer capable of helping myself. I honestly think that I would be ok by myself but again its better to think of stuff before it happens so you are prepared.

pickpocket
August 15, 2006, 01:34 PM
So, if you shoot a guy, and you call your fiance, and she comes to your side, and then later you get married, then guess what? She can be called into court to give an account of the conversation between you and she when you called her for help! And, imagine what that phone call would be like! "Oh, (expletive deleted), Honey! I just shot some dude! Naw, naw... His brains are hanging out... I totally blew him away! No, I'm not scared... I'm fine... Yeah, I killed him... Just get down here, quick! I think I'm gonna be in trouble for this..." (Etc...etc...) The point is, you could potentially say some really damaging stuff.

I think the REAL lesson there is not to be an idiot and say stupid things. :cool:

guntotin_fool
August 15, 2006, 01:36 PM
The only person to talk to the police after an incident is.......YOUR ATTORNEY!!!!!!!!


The only words you say to a police officer when he arrives are "I am really shook up, I am in no condition to talk, I really want my attorney here."


Once you say "no I do not want to talk until my attorney is here". They have to stop, and you get time to calm down and realize you are not the professional for the case. When you are sick you call the doc. when you break the car, call the mechanic, when you need the law, get the lawyer.

Don't take the Fifth, Don't call your momma, call the pro. call the attorney.

stephen426
August 15, 2006, 02:09 PM
guntotin_fool,

Your advice seems to make sense. I am somewhat concerned that taking that stance makes the police feel you have something to hide or that you are the guilty party. Maybe some police officers can chime in on this one. My parents have a great attorney that works for their business. While he specializes in business law, I'm sure he has plenty of contacts he can refer me too if needed. The problem is what would you do if you did not know any lawyers (as Springmom mentioned) or were out of town. I feel that if it is a legitimate shoot, simply stating the facts rather than taking the "I'm not saying anything until I have my attorney" approach makes the police more likely to believe that you were the victim and not the other way around.

pickpocket
August 15, 2006, 02:24 PM
There's already a thread following this line of discussion.

What Do You Do If You Are Involved In A Shooting? (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=218595)

I bring that up because this conversation is taking a turn in that direction and is moving away from the original question.

brickeyee
August 15, 2006, 02:24 PM
"I am somewhat concerned that taking that stance makes the police feel you have something to hide or that you are the guilty party."

Since the police are not going to be making the prosecution decisions what do you care what they think?
Getting arrested is far less important then providing evidence that could be manipulated by a DA to get a conviction.
I am surprised how many folks do not even know an attorney they could call.
Find one and get a business card.

Samurai
August 15, 2006, 02:26 PM
If you don't have one, get one. Look in the phone book, if you have to. But, if you carry a CCW license, you should carry the name and number of a criminal defense attorney on a little card behind it.

And, that's not just for us paranoid handgun permit owners out there. It makes good sense, no matter who you are or what you do, to always carry a few emergency contact numbers around with you. One of them should be a criminal defense lawyer in your area. One should be the office number of your primary-care physician. One should be the non-emergency number for the local police and fire departments. (If you need an ambulance, call 911.)

You could even, in very fine print, write a lawyer's phone number on the top margin of your CCW card...

mvpel
August 15, 2006, 02:27 PM
Police officers involved in on-duty shootings are permitted time to decompress before making an official statement for the record, why shouldn't you insist on being given that same time?

It's entirely possible that the police will think you have something to hide and/or are the guilty party whether or not you say anything in the first place, and will simply use whatever you say to reinforce their presumptions.

If you "state the facts," other than pointing out evidence that may disappear or drive away if you don't mention it, then in a post-shooting adrenaline-dump state you may misspeak and say something ambiguous or in the heat of the intense emotion of the situation that could be interpreted in the worst possible light by a cranky police officer interested in nailng you to the wall for daring to defend yourself against an attacker.

(Wow, four replies in three minutes - is that a record?)

superdude
August 16, 2006, 11:28 AM
I have a ton of respect for any one in law enforcement. I want to belive that a police officer is going to do there job to the best of there ability. I dont think they are going to look at a permit holder as a criminal. We have spent the time to carry a gun the right way and with in the law. Yes there will be some officers that see it a different way, but i would guess that most would see you as a good guy have a bad day.

That said, I still think I would call my wife or other family member to come help me if I ever shot someone. I wouldnt want them talking to the police about what happened ,just there to make sure I dont give miss info about my person. Back when I was about 14, 15, I was out pass curfew and was stopped by the police. I was with some of my friends and while the officer was taking info, one kid gave the the first part of his number and the last part of mine and didnt ever reliaze it. I dont want that to happened cause it looks bad and doesnt help anyone. Thats why I would call my wife or family member. I also think you have to talk to them before to let them know what you want them to say and to. Being prepared is everything

brickeyee
August 17, 2006, 06:27 PM
But a crime has been committed (from assault to murder) and they need a perpetrator.
They just want to close the case and pass it off to a DA.

Using a weapon in self defense requires what is normally considered a crime. Either assault with a deadly weapon or murder.
You will claim self defense to excuse your otherwise illegal actions.
Depending on the politics of the DA (and even when they are up for re-election) a decision will be made to move forward with prosecution.

springmom
August 17, 2006, 07:19 PM
I don't for the life of me get this. Maybe it's because I live in a state in which there is NOT this kind of view of self defense, but all I can say is that you VASTLY overstate this in many, if not most, states.

Springmom

joab
August 17, 2006, 08:00 PM
Depending on the politics of the DA (and even when they are up for re-election) a decision will be made to move forward with prosecution.The politics of Fla prohibit prosecution if it is in defense of life and limb

I never would have thought that anything but lawyering up or shutting up would be a good idea.

But after reading here and expanding a little on SpringMom's post
Since I don't hav a relationship with a preist or pastor so I should probably call BIL the Cop.

He's been a sheriff's deputy in the neighboring county for awhile and before that he was a corrections officer so I doubt that he would be shocked or horrified.

He is some kind of supervisor of street cops so he would probably know enough to at least advise me if he could not talk to the police for me.

My wife is Vietnamese and barely speaks English and has a potty mouth in both languages plus an ingrained distrust of anyone armed and in uniform so I would most definitiely not call on her.

brickeyee
August 17, 2006, 11:01 PM
"He's been a sheriff's deputy in the neighboring county for awhile and before that he was a corrections officer so I doubt that he would be shocked or horrified."

He has a sworn duty that may not serve you well.

"I don't for the life of me get this. Maybe it's because I live in a state in which there is NOT this kind of view of self defense, but all I can say is that you VASTLY overstate this in many, if not most, states."

I really doubt it. Look very carefully into the case law in your state and you will probably see a collection of decisions that try to draw a line between justifiable & excusable homicide and outright murder (of some degree). The names for the defense cases vary form state to state, but in every state killing in self defense is an affirmative defense.
This means you must admit to the crime of homicide and are required to show mitigating circumstances that make the crime acceptable.
The case law for the various ‘stand your ground’ laws has yet to be developed in most cases. I would not volunteer my freedom or fortune to help establish the law.

SamD
August 17, 2006, 11:31 PM
You do 3 things when the cops get there:

Identify yourself
Demand your attorneys presence
Keep your D@mn mouth shut.


You don't have to impress the cops withanything othere htna the fact you are not a threat to them.

The preosecutor makes the calls on how it's handled and he won't see you before he decides.

sam

Sam

Mikeyboy
August 18, 2006, 08:28 AM
1) CALL THE POLICE...very, very important to call the police first after a shooting. Doing anything else might put questions in a jury's mind. What if the guy is still alive and can be brought back with timely 911 medical response, but instead dies because you wanted to call mommy & daddy first. Do you want to go to jail or lose all your money in a civil case? I think its a duty of all CCW holder to call 911 if they discharge their weapon in self defense. Hit or Miss.

2) With the exception of my father, who has seen a lot of dead people in the Vietnam war, I would not want to do that to my family. I have hunted a lot so I seen and killed a lot of animals, but a human is completely different. I have seen about 3 dead bodies, in the flesh, up close and personal, and 1 died violently. When I was in my 20's I stopped to help after seeing a wicked car crash and looked in one car that sideswipped a concrete divider to find a 30 something year old lady dead, the top, left hand side of her skull was torn open. You see it is not something you can "Un-see" or forget about. That is why I get so PO'ed with these lilly white gun forum guys trying to a bloodlusting rambos. Killing and death is some hard stuff, so why put a loved one through it.

brickeyee
August 18, 2006, 09:09 AM
Calling a friend may not be such a good idea either.
They can be compelled to testify, and their memory may not match yours.
The only person with pretty much blanket immunity form compelled testimony is your attorney.

Tim Burke
August 18, 2006, 11:23 AM
The only person with pretty much blanket immunity form compelled testimony is your attorney.Which is why you need an attorney. If you have to call someone else, it should only be so they can track down an attorney for you.

pickpocket
August 18, 2006, 12:18 PM
I really doubt it. Look very carefully into the case law in your state and you will probably see a collection of decisions that try to draw a line between justifiable & excusable homicide and outright murder (of some degree). The names for the defense cases vary form state to state, but in every state killing in self defense is an affirmative defense.

Right - and Texas has one of the most successful CHL programs in the country. With ZERO negative case law. So maybe we're doing something right over here.
The Texas DPS (who runs the CHL program) advises its CHL instructors to inform their students that while it is wise to contact an attorney immediately that it is also beneficial to give a very brief summary of the situation to the police on scene.

Take that for what it's worth. Not every state is the same, not every county is the same, not every city is the same, not every DA is the same, and not every cop is the same. Do what's right for you.

Bottom line is that this isn't going to be resolved on an internet chat room. There's plenty of reasonable advice in this thread on both sides of the argument, but there's also plenty of BS. Ultimately its going to be up to the individual in each situation to decide what to do - either way you're going to have a rough time of it.

I think we can all agree that if you're going to have a third party do your talking it's in your best interests to have that third party be an attorney. Period. Moral support is one thing, talking to the police is another.

This discussion has ceased to produce new input or fresh arguments on either side so let's just let this one die with what dignity it has left.

JohnKSa
August 18, 2006, 01:11 PM
I am somewhat concerned that taking that stance makes the police feel you have something to hide or that you are the guilty party.If they feel that way they're being hypocritical. Most LEOs are given exactly the same advice by their department. After a shooting, shut up, lawyer up.

Remember, in a typical self-defense shooting, the threat is over by the time you call the cops. That means that they are NOT coming to the scene to HELP you. So, ask yourself, WHY ARE THEY THERE? Once the reality of the situation dawns, your course of action is clear.

joab
August 18, 2006, 06:20 PM
OK so now you guys are turning me back to my original STFU theory.

I am somewhat concerned that taking that stance makes the police feel you have something to hide or that you are the guilty party.No my concern. Cops are going to think what they think based on the evidence.
My words have just as much ability to impact their opinion as my silence does, maybe more.

Double Naught Spy
August 18, 2006, 10:01 PM
ok I see where everone is coming from. In my case my family are my friends and the only people I would trust to help me out in a case like that. I not saying that they are going to be able to tell the officers what happened. Only I can tell them that. I just saying that they would be there to help me if I was unable to do so. Like giving the officers personal info, name address, phone number, things of that nature. To make sure I get home alright and let other family know. As for telling to officers what happened I would go to a laywer for that stuff.

You give them your DL and they can figure out pretty much everything else. You don't need a family member or friend to do that. If you can call a family member, then you have the ability to give that number to the cops if they need it.

As for getting home alright, what makes you think you are going home right away? If you need a ride, the officers will call for you or let you call, AFTER they are done with you.

guntotin_fool
August 20, 2006, 10:34 PM
Again. CALL YOUR ATTORNEY.

It really is not that hard to do.


Cops are used to this. they do not think you are hiding anything. They are going to say, this is a person who in midst of being really, really shook up, was able to function enough to do the right thing.



IF ANY COP TELLS YOU YOU DO NOT NEED AN ATTORNEY< JUST TALK TO HIM AND THEY WILL MAKE IT RIGHT< THEY ARE LYING!!!! PERIOD.

It is what they are told to do, to get the most info out of you while you are in a form of shock. get you to blab you need to say nothing.

Capt Charlie
August 20, 2006, 11:12 PM
IF ANY COP TELLS YOU YOU DO NOT NEED AN ATTORNEY< JUST TALK TO HIM AND THEY WILL MAKE IT RIGHT< THEY ARE LYING!!!! PERIOD.

It is what they are told to do, to get the most info out of you while you are in a form of shock. get you to blab you need to say nothing.
Here it is in a nutshell. If you're involved in a shooting, SOP is to read you your rights under Miranda, you know, the right to remain silent, before we ask you any questions pertaining to your involvement in the shooting. By law, we are not permitted to continue questioning you if you invoke those rights.

However, if we arrive on scene and you're blabbing your head off about what happened, we're under no obligation to tell you to shut up, and everything you say is admissible in a court of law. That is why a lot of officers will wait before questioning you, so that they don't have to read Miranda, and the longer we wait, the greater chance you're going to blab.

The posts here advocating calling an attorney first are correct.

An officer telling you that you don't need an attorney is not only unethical, he's in violation of the law as well, and I would personally castrate any of my people that did so :mad: .

revjen45
August 21, 2006, 10:20 AM
Actually, it is legally impossible for the police to lie to a peon, because when they don't tell you the truth it's not called lying. It's called permissible deception and they can tell you almost anything to get you to run your mouth or confess. ("If it was an accident the DA will understand." yatta yatta) The DA here in Tarrant county TX told the cops to ignore the new definition of carrying while traveling and arrest anyone who has a gun and no CHL. The cops take their marching orders from the Persecuting Shyster's Office, not from the peons or the legislature. I'm not sure I should even admit to shooting the assailant or say anything beyond "I was in fear for my life and escape was not feasible."

wolfy692005
August 21, 2006, 05:10 PM
sounds like people like me ( moved to a new state and dont really know anyone besides the family) needs to find an lawyer to call on..
i do have a few friends but noone i would call a true bro yet.. left all thoughs behind...
time will tell on the new people... a lawyer is always a lawyer i guess, just need to get a good one.

guntotin_fool
August 23, 2006, 12:20 PM
Look in the paper and see who has defended police officers if they have had a shooting that has gone to the DA. Cops know which guys they do not want to face in court and who they want on their side when they need one. Otherwise just look at who does the bigger cases on the news.

usually in every market, there is one Criminal defense Lawyer who stands out.


I would also consider researching a GP attorney before you need one. I found mine thru the local builders assoc. He does mainly real estate and transaction work, but he has put me on to those who specialize in areas that I have needed. IF you find one you can trust, they are worth their weight in gold. He told me who to contact re: criminal defense and made sure I was known to that atty as a good guy. That makes me sure that IF something happens at 2 am, someone is going to answer the phone when I call him.


People always whine about the cost of lawyers, I will tell you they have been far cheaper to have them than to not.


When things go south, and your paperwork, legal standing, and position are solid, Life is much easier.

Ian2005
August 23, 2006, 01:08 PM
Capt Charlie , an actual officer has answered this thread. There should be no more specualtion on this issue. As on tv "Lawyer Up", that's the only advice.

Thank you Capt. Charlie.


Find a Lawyer (http://www.findlaw.com/)