If you’ve recently taken the required class for your Texas CHL as RF and I did on Saturday, you may have heard about the latest health scourge afflicting the nation’s gun owners. No, it’s not the elevated blood pressure, self-inflicted hair loss and accelerated wallet bleed-out associated with the ObamaCare enrollment process. Instead, the malady is known as Post Defensive Gun Use Respiratory Distress. This acute condition strikes individuals in the immediate aftermath of a defensive gun use who’d rather not take the more hard-line approach with inquisitive members of the 5-O (“I feared for my life. I want to talk to my lawyer before I say anything else.”) advocated by many . . .

If you believe our instructor, that kind of Dragnet-style, just-the-facts-ma’am approach can put off the responding officer, forcing him to cuff you, stuff you in a squad car and ship you downtown. That, in turn, could result in the newly-dead perp lying in a pool of his own blood being portrayed as the victim when it comes time to present the case to the D.A. and/or grand jury. Probably not something you want to have to deal with.

Instead, as we were instructed, when the responding officer arrives, better to drop to one knee, clutch your chest and, while wheezing piteously, blurt out something like, “H-he tried to kill me! I…I…I’m having trouble breathing…can you help me please?” Truth be told, our class presenter also advised puking and wetting your pants to enhance the overall effect, but that seemed a little over the top.

Anyway, the idea is that by the time the ambulance arrives and you’ve been rushed to the emergency room for a thorough going-over, your attorney will have had time to make the scene and intervene without your answering any questions. If you happen to draw a particularly aggressive investigating officer who sidles up to your gurney in the ER before your counsellor gets there, just breathe a little faster in your oxygen mask, cough and gurgle a few more times until a nurse shoos him away.

Good advice?

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128 Responses to Post Defensive Gun Use Respiratory Distress Revealed

      • And….so long as the one who’s been shot is not also a TLS client. Conflict of interest and all. Something to remember considering who is most likely to shoot whom, and that TLS does offer couples packages.

    • I have both Texas Law Shield, and as a last resort, my CPA is also a tax attorney. He’s gone toe to toe and beat the IRS in Tax Court. I’m sure he could handle HPD until the specialists show up.

    • I have one. Sat down for a free hour with a lawyer with a record of success in self-defense cases. He advised against putting him (i.e. a specific lawyer) on retainer for various reasons. But he’s on my speed dail and if not available will arrange for a lawyer to show up if the worst happens for the initial ‘interview’.

    • I have my lawyer on speed dial (but that’s because she makes me). She also makes me sleep next to her in the same bed. She’s picky that way, being my wife. I highly advise having one lawyer in your immediate family, especially a criminal defense attorney. But please, limit it to one person only. More than that will ruin every family holiday, forever.

    • Found a local Cleveland Lawyer who had written a thoughtful essay on the Zimmerman/Martin case, contacted him, and he told me that I could call anytime if I needed legal representation for self-defense. They’re out there.

  1. There are lawyers that offer a defensive firearm use service. Fork out a down payment and they’ll come running if you ever need them. They’re usually the sort of lawyers that have their own gun collection.

  2. Folks who carry guns should have a proper attorney pre arranged. The attny should be well versed in law regarding defense. Best are the lawyers who represent cops. Police unions may be a good source

    • Hmmm, sounds like a good attorney can keep help a bad cop on the street. If so, would that make him a bad attorney, or just a lawyer who’s good at helping bad guys?

    • Actually, good advice.

      And if ever in a bona fide shoot out, some of those symptoms may come rather…naturally.

      • You should always get yourself checked out after an extremely traumatic event; heart, respiration issues, or some other unregistered injury that occurred during the incident may surface and need prompt intervention. A medical evaluation will also give time to gather your thoughts and contact counsel before saying anything other than what will aid in capturing a fleeing suspect or help other victims.

        The investigation can otherwise wait.

        • Horsesh!t. There is nothing to “check out”. Either you have genuine s/s or not. Any injury or abnormality has manifest clinical signs. This is the biggest pussy excuse in this country. MVC? get “checked out”, someone yelled at you? get “checked out”, fell and scraped your knee? Get “checked out”. Vagina sweaty? Get “checked out”. So retarded.

        • Freeheel, I hear where you are coming from, but must disagree.
          I’m a volunteer firefighter – following any major firefighting operations we are supposed to get checked out my EMS. Even short durations of intense physical activity can have major physiological effects. And hey, a lot of firefighters are already kind of high on adrenaline before they make it to their TRUCKS, let alone the fire. And once they find among the flames a large propane tank or high voltage panel it’s a whole ‘nother story…

          Doing firefighting I’ve experienced some decent adrenaline rushes, my brain almost shutting down from sheer overload and exhaustion (that one took less than 20 minutes of activity), and a form of “tunnel vision”. And a couple of those were doing completely safe things – no danger whatsoever.

          I would say that for most people a gun fight lasting a few minutes should definitely cause them to be checked out by EMS – that said, most people are walking heart-attack bombs. But it’s also a GREAT excuse to get some distance and time.

        • Like I said BS. I am EMS and not a vollie. 31 years in a professional ALS EMS service. If you don’t have real s/s then you are part of the problem.

    • I just took my third swig of dextromethorphan today, (Rite-Aid™ ‘Tussin’ long acting cough suppressant) and I feel loopy. I don’t like it.

      But I’m not coughing.

    • The conviction is the endgame. Lots of stuff happens before that. Ideally, you want to avoid an arrest. If you get arrested, you get entered into the system and data goes into NICS. Even if you are later acquitted, your arrest record will remain in NICS. An initial check of NICS will result in a flag going forward, which will complicate your life.

  3. My wife and I took our class Saturday as well. Our instructor was strongly in support of the “Catfish Rule”… It states that, “If the Catfish wouldn’t have opened his mouth, he wouldn’t have gotten caught.” It made me laugh but I have to say, some combination of the above and the Catfish would be my response.

    • For me it’s Massad Ayoobs advice, ” hello officer, there’s the perp I was attacked, there’s the evidence, I will cooperate fully when I have an Attourney present”

  4. I often use vomiting and pissing on myself to avoid things…

    Chatty people in the evaluator, parent/ teacher meetings, long lines at the grocery store.

  5. Being a lawyer in Illinois, I can honestly say that there are many of us that would love to be able to help. Sadly there are just as many, if not more, that would love to hurt (or carelessly and blindly follow orders) that would love to hurt.

    Having a lawyer on speed dial isn’t a costly endeavor, not should it be so. It’s a principle that I live by that everyone has a right to adequate legal representation.

    Having said as such, if anyone is ever in need of such service and would like to have an attorney on “speed dial” who is like minded, please comment. I’ll watch the space and contact directly; this is not an advertisement.

    Just as a reminder, anything done it said in the aftermath will be shown to a jury, they may not buy your wheezing story.

    • Agreed, anytime you lie or make up something up,like “respiratory distress”, you bring in the element of chaos, unintended consequences. If you’re the one who dials 911, make sure you say, I was attacked. Then tell the cops you were attacked when they arrive. When they ask what happened, say you would like to have an attorney present before any questioning or I giving any statements. I really don’t know of a modern day cop who’s going to push the interview after that. Keep in mind a cop can and will ask questions related to the public safety side of the incident like, “Where is the gun? Are you hurt? Are there any more attackers? Where is the assailants weapons?” Say the attorney thing first and you are covered to answer those. Refuse to answer and you will look bad in court. I promise you. Juries pick up on the dumbest and most insignificant things and often, it’s those things that mean the difference. 20 years in LE now and I am still surprised at what was the lynch pin of any jury vote. It’s never what you think it will be. I am not a lawyer and maybe one can correct me but public safety questions and routine booking questions are not 4th amendment material and if introduced, a decent lawyer can object or have them removed at and deposition or cross examination, especially if you say you wanted a lawyer for any questioning first. You lawyer end up, simple as that, Miranda rules apply forever after that.

      • WRONG. If you begin to voluntarily answer questions, even simple ones such as, “would you like a piece of gum?” have been construed to be voluntarily waiving your Miranda rights. When you invoke your Fifth Amendment rights (which you must affirmatively do, i.e. say out loud you want to speak to an attorney and will say nothing else until then), you must continue to remain quiet.= until you speak with your attorney.

        • … I don’t think the feds are selling surplus bamboo ala MRAPs, so it may be out of that particular department’s budget. However, if you do start to talk again, then you must re-invoke your right to remain silent. There are wrinkles that would take a criminal law class to sort through, but a good starting place is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_rights

        • Interesting Matt. I disagree – Your statements after asserting Miranda may be admissible only if you initiate the conversation. Even then, only if the police give a fresh set Miranda of warnings once the discussion picks up. The public safety exception only applies to the existence of a weapon (from N.Y. v Quarles). Anything else would be subject to Miranda because the cop is asking questions. Since I am assuming we’re talking about someone in a DGU and they called the police about a shooting, then I would think you’d want to secure the weapon, most likely your weapon, with the least amount of drama.

          The last thing I want to do is give sh1thouse lawyer advice. So I’ll stop here. If you don’t trust yourself to keep your mouth shut beyond emergency questions, then just say I want to talk with my lawyer and deal with what happens next. However, and you know as much as I do, as we all do after the Zimmerman trial circus, what you do afterwards does matter in court and all of your actions will be scrutinized. Asking to go to the hospital afterwards is fine, that’s even normal, you’ve just been traumatized and should see a doctor to make sure you’re ok. However, faking respiratory stress or a heart attack is something I don’t advise. It’s just not necessary and later, the testimony of doctors and medical records can all be entered. If you’re faking, you take a big chance at being discovered, by real medical professionals and then having their testimony used against you. Just say you don’t feel well and you may be sick.

        • I would have to agree with T.O.B. when[not “if”] you invoke your “rights” they [the police] cannot ask you any questions pertaining to the event in question, if they [the police] do ask and you answer, those answers are “off the record” and will be quashed. This is from personal experience and not intended as legal advice!

          After the “event” you have nothing but time, the event is over whewww break time. so just like any police office who gets his/hers “Garrity” you or me should think “I have nothing to add to this situation that the evidence will not reveal” a simple statement, I was attacked and defended myself should suffice until legal council is obtained, because you cannot talk your way out of a trip down town and you will be taking that trip down town for sure if the is a rapidly approaching room temp body laying there. ask any attorney if he has EVER advised his clients to go ahead and talk to the police before he get there. This is from personal experience and not intended as legal advice!

          Just remember it takes a big set of brass balls to carry concealed just don’t loss them after an event, if your strong enough to carry be strong enough to have “follow through”. And that about all I have to say… This is from personal experience and not intended as legal advice!
          sorry for being so long winded I’ll stop now!

        • @Drew
          No such thing as “off the record” when a death is involved.

          “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law”, no matter how true it may or may not be.

          See the video I posted below and take advice from the pros.

        • You’re WRONG is wrong, sir.

          The Original Brad had it right, booking questions do not fall under 5th Amendment protections. Pointing out a key piece of evidence such as “he was holding that knife” does not eliminate your Miranda Rights.

          Police officers involved in a DGU are trained at shooting scenes to give general officer safety statements regarding the location of suspects, description, weapons involved, and general direction of shots fired. The purpose is to resolve immediate threats to officer safety and to medically treat anyone who may have been injured by the officer or suspect.

          Similarly, non-LEOs have those some of those same options, albeit the lack of union representation. Again, this is from cases I have personally investigated. For example, he stabbed me with that knife so I hit him with this chair. The victim is still the victim.

          I don’t see why anyone would be wasting their time taking to a DGU attorney from their own state. I’ll bet that attorney will tell you to STFU. He’d probably advise medical treatment as well. I know my union guy personally, and have talked to him about his shooting and his representation of others. I’ve also talked to attorneys who have come into our office advertising their services. I have my rep on speed dial, and he has lawyers for off duty incidents. Not a perfect situation, but not bad, either. We’ve also documented and discussed off duty DGU’s of other officers for training purposes.

          It is true that off duty police have a little more leeway (which I don’t believe is fair, but it happens) so a good attorney could mean the difference between freedom and incarceration. Knowing who will represent or defend you is a worthwhile endeavor.

  6. The “having trouble breathing” thing is not a bad idea, and it goes along with the advice of “never refuse medical attention.”

    As far as the comments above about having a lawyer on speed dial, it’s not really necessary to have one on retainer. But a good idea is to investigate the attorneys in your area as far as their areas of practice, and at least have the names of a couple tucked away in your wallet. A good next step is to reach out to them and talk a little, even if you have to pay a little bit to do so, to get a feel for their personalities and if you’re comfortable with them.

    Look at it this way: Lawyer on retainer >> Lawyer you’ve spoken to at least once >> Lawyer (name/card in wallet) who specializes in firearms defense >> Any other lawyer at all >> No lawyer.

    Find your way along that continuum. I know the names of two or three attorneys in my area who specialize in firearms defense, and I have their names in my wallet and phone. I’ve never spoken to any of them, only researched through word of mouth, websites, etc. At least I have “a name” to call, even if it ends up not being the person I deal with if the thing goes long game.

    • and you can even go farther. For a couple hundred buck or so, chances are you can get a meet with a lawyer to introduce yourself and get a file opened for you so that when you call them from the Po Po station, they have some background. I suspect a lot of attorneys who do firearm defense have these sorts of arrangements. You generally don’t need to pay an annual retainer or anything.

      Depending on where you live, you might also want to find a lawyer who is accredited in more than one state. For example, when RF lived in New England, having lawyers accredited to handle firearm defense cases in Rhode Island and border states CT, and MA may have made sense for him.

    • Back in the ’90s a candy commercial gave me the perfect name for those unpleasant undie-staining surprises: Starbursts (because the juice is loose). If it’s a really bad one, it’s a Duncan Hines (there’s puddin’ in the mix!).

      I’m not a big fan of vomiting. If you need an excuse, just say “sorry, I can’t stay and talk; I have diarrhea,” and you’re off the hook. Nobody questions diarrhea.

      • Reminds me of a recent Duck Dynasty episode, lol. I think diarrhea is an all or nothing gambit. It doesn’t hold up well under tight scrutiny. An officer may be quick to question your intestinal distress if you announced something so urgent, and for even a second do not promptly try to remedy it. But if you do run off to try to fix it, you may cause another problem altogether.

        I think urinating on yourself is best alternative. It shows fear, shock, and to a degree, remorse, and causes others to look on in pity, without implying anything medically wrong with you to later be called into question in court.

        I think I’ll stick to just giving the truth or lawyer up if I (hopefully never) wind up in a defensive gun use.

  7. Something else to consider. The lawyer you call does NOT have to be the lawyer who ultimately represents you. I am not a criminal defense lawyer but I have had to step in when someone I know I got busted. They called me so they could remain quiet. I called around and arranged meetings with criminal defense attorneys, helped their families understand the process, etc. As such, sometimes, just knowing a lawyer who can say, “I am his lawyer. I would like to discuss this with my client privately.” goes a long way to shutting the po-po up.

  8. Not sure I would get that specific (unless you’re really in respiratory or cardiac distress, which based upon the responses from the physical fitness post, is a distinct possibility amongst some of the gun-owning crowd) – but suffice it to say, ANY law abiding citizen who was just involved in a DGU, is at a minimum going to feel sick and severe anxiety…..sick to their stomach due to the adrenalin dump and the fact that they (or some other innocent) almost lost their life, and at the prospect that they were forced to take (or almost took) the life of another human being…not to mention you may have suffered some yet-to-be identified injuries yourself – for all those reasons alone, I would seek medical treatment…theres no need to make anything up, these are all legitimate and understandable considering what one just went through….and then, contact your lawyer and exercise your right to remain silent until you have counsel

  9. I don’t believe in criminally obstructing justice or fabricating evidence. So this lame phony condition is a nonstarter with me. You’re apt to come off ridiculous and dishonest trying to pull an Academy Award out of your rear under those circumstances. No need to be a jerk to the responding officers, but asserting your right to silence, no consent for searches and STFU is by far the smartest course.

    • It could be as simple as “I’m not feeling well and I’d like to go to the hospital to make sure I’m not injured. I will answer any questions after I have a chance to speak with my attorney.”

      You’re not lying, not appearing uncooperative, and potentially preserving your health if you ARE actually injured or in shock.

      Now, if you live alone like I do, how do you ensure that the police don’t perform searches without consent while you are at the hospital?

      • No way to prevent such searches, but absent consent, the evidence would be inadmissible. There are lots of exceptions to that, though, like “plain view” and “good faith.” So don’t leave doors open. Don’t allow use of your bathroom. Don’t accept helpful offers like to go get you some water, a coat, a paper towel. They wander your home, they collect evidence.

        Could be the un-PC anti-criminal sign in your home office. Could be those three empty bottles of wine in your room from the night before. Could be the dozen guns you have positioned throughout your house. Could be the “Kill ’em all, and let God sort ’em out” t-shirt in your hamper. All will look bad to a jury.

        Confine the search to the immediate crime scene and don’t consent, even indirectly, to searches or anything seemingly innocuous. I won’t say the police are your enemy, but they certainly are not your friends. Homicide detectives are trained, experienced professionals there to build a case.

    • After the Zimmerman debacle, where they extensively used him not going with the EMTs to the hospital to paint him as not seriously injured (and therefore never having been in actual danger at all), if an ambulance comes I’m getting in it.

      I’m sure the vomit and the panic attack-ish stuff going on in the aftermath will be pretty real anyway. I usually feel sick right after an adrenaline dump.

    • “I don’t believe in criminally obstructing justice or fabricating evidence. So this lame phony condition is a nonstarter with me. You’re apt to come off ridiculous and dishonest trying to pull an Academy Award out of your rear under those circumstances.”

      +1000. Appear dishonest, and they can report that they were suspicious of you being dishonest. Best to follow the advice of lawyers, rather than CHL instructors. Call 911, then call your attorney, and politely say that you will defer answering any questions until your attorney arrives.’

      And — you’re vastly better off to have an attorney ready. Post-shooting is no time to go leafing through the yellow pages. If nothing else, sign up for something like US Law Shield or Texas Law Shield (whatever works in your state). You don’t have to stick with their attorney throughout the entire process if you don’t want to, but at least you’ll have the name and phone number of someone, with you, when you need it most.

    • I can speak at that adrenaline dump thing. I’ve never been in a gunfight, but I have been in a fistfight or two and various traffic stops and just generally ” in trouble.” (like with the boss) and from my own experience with that adrenaline stuff, if I were in a DGU, I probably wouldn’t even be able to stay on my feet. That is, from what I know of adrenaline dumps, I wouldn’t have to fake anything – I’d be genuinely discombobulated.

      But I’m like king of the nerds, and the last thing I would want to do would be to say anything that sounded like I was smarting off.

      Am I making sense? That OTC cough syrup is kicking my mental butt.

  10. Hope you don’t suddenly develop Excited Delirium and experience a fatal first episode when the state shows up at the scene. Usually more possum-like movements can help to avoid this.

  11. No matter what you do, your opponent in civil or criminal court will try to use it against you. Your panicky reaction may be portrayed as evidence of unreasonable fear and indication of an over-reaction to whatever the threat was.

    I don’t have much confidence in my abilities as an actor, I also know there are a lot of video cameras nowadays. Security cameras, cruiser cameras, witnesses with camera phones. I think I’ll have enough of a reaction to deal with just in the natural course of events without trying to feign some response. I do have confidence in my ability to STFU and have my lawyer portray my actions as being consistent with lawful self-defense as well as my being knowledgeable about the considered and lawful use of lethal force in self-defense.

  12. I am a lawyer in MD. This is terrible advice on so many levels. Primarily if you are ever found out to be faking this part it will cast doubt on your entire story no matter how truthful the rest of it may be.
    It shouldn’t be hard to find a lawyer to have on call. Each state should have a few preeminent firearms lawyers. It shouldn’t cost you anything just to get their emergency number and keep it handy. Maybe pay for a half hour of their time to have a consult.

  13. I believe that prepaid legal services are a scam. The bottom line is that if you are innocent you are going to have to shell out major money and better be on a first name basis with an attorney rather than someone you do not know from the list of attorneys on the prepaid payroll. Having an attorney is serious business and often you get what you pay for. It is the same logic as buying a gun. Would you absolutely trust your arse/life to the $150 Bryco Jennings pistol? That pistol is the same as the $10 a month prepaid legal attorney service. Me? Oh hell no!

    • I think for the few hundred $$ a year it costs for the prepaid services (CCW Safe, Second Call Defense, etc.) it’s worth it for the immediate response that they guarantee which could keep you out of jail from day one.

      If, after that, you want to find a big bucks attorney to represent you at trial then there’s nothing stopping you from doing so.

  14. I’ve posted this advice before: if you’re ever on a defensive shooting situation, ask to be taken to a hospital even if you’ve suffered no obvious injury.

    In such a high-stress situation, you may think you’re fine even though you’re about to have a coronary, an asthma attack or who knows what. If you’re going to stroke out, better to do so in the ambulance.

    Think it can’t happen? Google “man dies from heart attack after robbery” and see what pops up. It’s more common than you might think.

    Meanwhile, if you don’t instantly drop dead, you’ll have time to call your lawyer. Not having a lawyer’s number on your phone is worse than not having ammo in your safe.

    • Pure curiosity, but would that allow the prosecution to use “Who has a lawyer in their phone? He was looking for trouble!” ?

    • Good advice. Its not rocket science to find a lawyer and its very cheap insurance to at least carry a card in your wallet.

      I dont agree with faking it but I do expect to be affected should I ever by forced by events to shoot someone in my own self defense. So having a plan for that is also good common sense.

  15. When it comes to speaking with police without an attorney present, I’ll pass along what I got from my wife, who is a criminal defense attorney and has been a public defender for 23 years: “90% of my work simply goes away if the people would just shut up, but they can’t because crime makes you stupid; only stupid people think that they can talk themselves out of an arrest; all they do is just give the police more ammunition when it comes to charging them.”

    My wife’s best friend, who is an Assistant District Attorney with 18 years experience agrees with the assessment above, although she tends to like chatty suspects, especially those who think they are smarter than herself (they are not) or smarter than the police (which may be true).

    • The last time my IQ was measured, it came up 142, but I’m here to tell you that that’s no guarantee against being a stupid idiot! It took me the first almost 24 years of my life to figure out that people don’t like to be told how much smarter than they are I am.

  16. Funny that I got the exact same advice in a Utah license class given in CT a couple of years ago.

    As for a lawyer …. if you can’t afford the various “insurance ” programs that are out there (cost is roughly 200 – 400 per annun) then at least browse thru your NRA state org newsletters. They usually have ads from attorneys specialising in self defense. Or at the very least watch for news articles where defendant gets off and clip that name and number and put it in your wallet and with someone in your family circle.

  17. Lots of good advice above. When I worked as a medic, then as an ER nurse (over 30 years total) I always carried my own insurance coverage. Now into my 60’s, disabled by muscular dystrophy, it looks like a no lose situation. Jail = no rent, gated community, 24 hour armed security, 3 meals per day, lots of entertaining neighbors, free medical care, and conjugal visits (which I don’t get now).
    The national organizations offering assistance for an annual fee don’t seen to really promise much when I read the details. Will have to look into the Texas version mentioned above.

      • They have a list of vetted attorneys in each state. I guess it must be in the members section. You can use ones they recommend or chose your own.

  18. Ya know what cops do when they are involved in a shooting incident? They STFU, someone will call the union rep who reminds all to STFU. The union rep will call a lawyer who will remind the union rep to have all involved parties to STFU until the lawyer arrives to intervene.
    Anyone involved in a DGU should just tell the first cop you talk to that you are exercising the same right they would if they were involved in a similar incident.

    • Not all DGUs are as clear-cut as an intruder in your home. Some might even look pretty bad for the shooter at first blush. Or some might get blown out of proportion by a ridiculous media response, especially if there’s a certain specific racial disparity between the two involved parties.

      That said, this fake heart attack shtick is terrible advice. Be polite, ask to speak to a lawyer first, and shut up.

    • Well, depending on where you live it may not be legal to shoot someone for breaking in. Jailtime. Whereas, if you’d STFU- the law would have presumed that you were in fear of imminent bodily harm if you fired at someone you had reason to believe had broken in, and was not a member of the household.

      A difference between you admitting having shot someone without legal justification and the law presuming you did.

      Know your the laws in your jurisdiction.

  19. “Good advice?” (feigning and/or exaggerating physical/emotional distress after a self-defense event)

    It probably is … but only because the State equates exercising our rights (to be armed, to defend ourselves, and to remain silent so that we do NOT incriminate ourselves) with criminal behavior.

    We have to get out in front of this and educate the State and the public.

    • Don’t discount this. As a medic many times I helped civilians and LEO’s by getting them out of a bad situation so they could cool off and regroup in the ER. EMS and ER people are really appreciative of a genuinely nice person in a bad situation and we’d go out of our way to help them. It’s common for people to talk to much when nervous. We’d listen, then suggest they STFU until they get representation. I saw lots of people talk their way INTO jail.

  20. If you don’t want to talk to the police and they haven’t mirandized you or suspect you of a crime, then you cannot just be silent. You have to specifically claim the protection of the fifth amendment as to why you’re not speaking with them without your attorney present. If you don’t, then the Supreme Court ruled this year that this silence can be used against you in court. If you claim the protection of the fifth amendment, then they cannot.

    I don’t know why this hasn’t been talked about more. It’s a huge ruling in my opinion.

    • You got it wrong.

      The ruling had to do with a guy who initially talked to the police, realized he was in deep ****, and then clammed up without deliberately invoking his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination.

  21. As a lifelong asthmatic with numerous health deficiencies, I would be safe to follow this advice – when you have an asthma attack it can be hard to even say that’s what’s wrong to other people, the breath just isn’t there to talk. The immediate aftermath of a life threatening situation can leave the survivor ecstatic, overjoyed and bouncing with delight. This can be misconstrued by the authorities. Any explanations can wait until you’ve recovered your equilibrium, and had time to reflect on the awful responsibility for taking another human life (or severely injuring them). Some calm legal advice when you let the police know what happened, is essential.

  22. Well, if you live in Georgia, within reasonable distance of Atlanta, you can feel free to put my number in your phone. I’m always happy to represent fellow 2A supporters. If you want it, send me an email. scbugbee at bugbeelaw dot info

  23. I don’t think this is particularly good advice. Faking anything may undermine your credibility, both immediately and in the event of a trial. The fundamental problem is that there is no perfect response to having to use a gun defensively. Depending on circumstances, talking honestly could hurt you, but so could clamming up a getting a lawyer. So much depends on the cops and the DA.

    Fortunately, I am married to a (very good) lawyer who works for an important state official. While she couldn’t represent me long term, she could serve until someone else was hired, and she’s got the connections to ensure I get someone good.

    Of course, the best plan is to try to avoid stupid people doing stupid things, hopefully making any DGU a clear case of self-defense. I never want to be the guy who pulls a gun after another guy escalates a shoving match by pulling a knife.

    • You’ll need proof/witnesses that you are 100% NOT the one who began the “shoving match”. Good luck with that. Once you are labeled as any type of involved aggressor, Your rights to a DGU vaporize.

      As a CCW citizen, you must remain calm and neutral towards ANY a-hole who wants to bring it your way. I’m not sayin’ run away, just a couple steps back. NO ONE (especially said a-holes) should be within arms reach. That’s basic common sense. Maintain your perimeter as best as you can.

  24. I like it. How would it look if later you could prove that you were refused medical assistance?
    I don’t see a bad side here. Other that a spouse or SO getting a call that you were involved in a shooting and at the hospital..
    Ah, she’s used to me ending up in the ER.

  25. How is it to wind up at the ER? I have almost died two times but have always had luck. The glass didn’t cut deep enough and the like.

  26. “He tried to kill me”, is description of an actual physical event. The evidence of the scene had better support that or you really may be in trouble.
    “He was gonna kill me”, is a description of your perception of his intent, which is why you fired your gun at him. You only need to be a “reasonable person” for that to be true and does not rely on bruises or bullet holes for corroboration.
    Small point but DA’s will use semantics to undercut your position and call them “inconsistencies”

  27. Charles Cotton is a great asset to the 2A community, and to Texas and America, for that matter.

    He wisely gets a retainer at the outset of representation for various legal matters, though he’s been known to make exceptions for regular clients. I about fell over laughing when someone thoughtfully asked him “Hmm….well, how many DGU’s are required before one qualifies for regular client status?”

  28. “Officer, I will cooperate fully after I’ve consulted my attorney. At this time I wish to positively assert my 5th Amendment rights.” And the ST FU.

  29. At the end of my 6 hour class on the law of self-defense in Alabama, each student gets my card with my cell number. I assure them either myself or another competent lawyer will be at their side, post-haste.

  30. It’s interesting how many attorneys seem to view this page. It’s a rare post that brings so many out of the wood-work.

  31. You know. This is the same thing that is taught in the continuing ed classes for all Pennsylvania municipal police officer, constables, sheriffs, probation and parole officers, fish and game wardens…. These classes are taught be retired criminal investigators who have investigated police self defense shootings and citizen self defense shootings. It’s not about your lawyer swooping in. It’s about you delaying questioning and not saying anything stupid. Statements under medical duress are not admissible. Should you be unlucky enough to have use a gun in self defense, don’t think for a minute that anyone is going to be on your side. If you’re truly in the right, time is on your side and you’re best off keeping your mouth shut until you get to speak to a lawyer and get your story straight.

  32. Keep it simple. If that don’t work, lawyers are a necessary evil. Only a fool represents him/her self. For every lawyer that works for justice, there are thousands that work for the government.

  33. Whatever happens, never think or say you shot to kill, or anything like it. Your life was threatened and you did only as much as you had to, to protect yourself or family. If wounded dirt bags flee, good. If they decide to die, that wasn’t your intent. Department of Corrections firearms instructor taught us to say we “aimed to stop the action” and never say to kill or wound. Stick to stopping the threat or stopping the action!!!

  34. Obviously nobody here has actually taken a defensive shot that ended a life. I won’t give details but needless to say you won’t have to fake shit after you see a man releasing his bowels and bladder along with the entire volume of his blood, gurgle, scream, call for his mother and curse you as he dies. No matter what language it’s in. You WILL vomit, you WILL have respiratory distress, you WILL have the physiological effects that are more than enough to send you to a hospital, you WILL be in such an emotional state that you need to refuse questions and call a legal professional.

    In war, I took a life. All this happened to me and there was no worry of being arrested or having my life ruined. If you think that you’re going to take a person’s life and react like you just ordered a pizza you’re out of your fucking mind. This is a ridiculous story from an equally ridiculous author and taken from an even more ridiculous source.

    • By far, the best post in this thread. I feel ya brother.

      Kudos, props, and all my accolades your way.

      “This We’ll Defend”

  35. Whereas the first three videos provide an good background to 5th Amendment rights, the following is a the short version for any interviewed and/or arrested for any reason:

  36. “… advised puking and wetting your pants…”

    For some reason, this brought to mind some parody “You know you’re getting old when …” article, one of which was, “You know you’re getting old when throwing up isn’t as much fun as it used to be.”

    But at my age, I’d probably already have peed my pants. =:-O

  37. Before you really have or even feign Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, (PTSD) as suggested in this article you should know that if Obama has his way you’ll loose your second amendment rights and your weapons will be confiscated. Here’s an article about it;
    Obama Proposes Massive Gun Ban by Regulation Fiat –
    http://www.ammoland.com/2014/01/obama-proposes-massive-gun-ban-by-regulation-fiat/#
    In our Constitutional Republic form of government, the governments primary responsibility is to protect your and my individual rights, (even the ones not in the Constitution) from all threats, and specifically threats from power hungry individuals within our governments and from other governments. There really is no other legitimate reason for government to exist or for us to pay, (taxes) for them to exist. We are not subjects, we are all equals, (even Obama is not our boss) and we need to remind/teach all of those who are ignorant of that fact often and with extreme volume, especially those in our government!

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