Photo by Brad Fitzpatrick
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By Brad Fitzpatrick

In 2020, Adam Nievar moved into his elderly grandfather’s home. Nievar planned to help his grandfather with daily tasks around the house, but his grandfather, who had a history of alcohol abuse and run-ins with the law for violent behavior and alcohol-related offenses, proved to be a difficult housemate.

He frequently started fights with his grandson. One evening, as Nievar prepared to leave for work, his grandfather initiated a fight and threatened to shoot him. His grandfather walked into his bedroom and fired a shot at Nievar. Fortunately, he missed. In response, Nievar drew his own carry weapon and fired, striking and killing his grandfather. 

Following the shooting, a U.S. LawShield attorney from the firm Richards Carrington investigated the case and created a mitigation packet that was presented to the lead investigator and the chief of the district attorney’s intake unit. The attorney worked closely with the investigator on the case for more than a year.

Following a lengthy delay resulting from pending lab results, the investigator provided Eddy with a letter from the district attorney’s office declining to file charges against Nievar based on his right to defend himself in the situation. 

As this story should make clear, a successful self-defense doesn’t mean your problems are over. It’s usually just the beginning of what can be a long, drawn-out process of investigation, possible criminal charges, and a trial. There can even be civil liability as well.

The moral of the story: Have a good attorney on speed dial. If you don’t have one, get good self defense insurance from a company like US LawShield. In addition to keeping you out of jail, it could save you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, a burden that would bankrupt most people.

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  1. Say only “I was attacked, I defended myself, I will be happy to sign a complaint *after* I have spoken to my lawyer.”

    Watch this beforehand, and heed the *warnings* :

    • When calling 911 say there’s been an incident at that requires law enforcement and an ambulance. Give your name and description (include what you’re wearing) and don’t say another f*ing word. If the 911 operator asks any questions, just say there’s been an an incident at that requires law enforcement and an ambulance. Any more questions, just keep repeating that.

    • Everyone points out this guy, it’s not the best advice for legit self-defense cases. In every case this guy brings up, except one, the person was guilty. That one exception was someone who was mentally ill.

      You’re NOT gonna tell anyone you were forced to defend your life? You’re not calling 911 beforehand? 911 is the cops. “Ladies and gentlemen, the defendant refused to call 911, refused to request an ambulance and let this man die in the street. The defendant was asked by the first police on the scene: why did you shoot him? You will hear testimony from the officer that the defendant just stood there and didn’t open his mouth.”

      Have fun in court when the prosecutor uses your *pre-Miranda silence against you*.

      In criminal court there is a victim and an perpetrator. You must establish you were the victim. Juries are a crapshoot, don’t give these jerk prosecutors any more rope than they already have.

      Read Branca’s book as a start about how to interact with police. Don’t listen to this guy in the video unless you really are guilty.

      • Using Miranda in closing argument is against the law. Unfortunately, unless the judge has the cojones to refer the offending attorney to the bar association, there is no penalty for such misconduct. It was tried by the DA in the Rittenhouse case along with at least one other egregious act of misconduct by the DA and a what we used to call “Throw enough shit against the wall some of it might stick” charging.
        Rittenhouse was charged with two counts of first degree murder, a mandatory no parole life sentence in that particular state as well a minor in possession of a firearm (a non-starter as the laws allowed possession of a rifle in that state) and the big against the wall charge, curfew violation. I am not even sure curfew violation is a misdemeanor. It may be the equivalent of parking in a red zone. Throwing in such a charge in a two-count first degree murder case is ludicrous. The judge should have told the DA he was dismissing that count sua sponte – on his own action. BUT he was a diem judge in a dem state with a dem prosecutor, so he took the chicken way out and let it go to the jury. When the prosecuting attorney does some illegal act the judge should declare a mistrial. The problem with that is it significantly increases the cost of defense to the accused and the taxpayers and the next time an election rolls around the public has forgotten all about how much the dingbat has cost them. OR the judge can tell the jury that the DA has committed misconduct and they are to disregard his comments about Miranda. That is called “Unringing the bell.” Sometimes such a warning, if the judge really puts it in the harsh terms it deserves will prejudice the case against the DA and the jury will return a not guilty to punish him. But most judges don’t like to make an enemy of the DA and his minions and thus doesn’t phrase it in the derogatory terms it deserves.

        • Yes, but using your silence against you before (key word) you were Mirandized is perfectly legal. That’s what I was talking about.

      • What are you gonna do?? Admit you shot someone??? Then the prosecutor can say it wasn’t self defense as you claimed; you’re just a bloodthirsty maniac just waiting to try out your new toy. Or you’re a misanthrope and hate people and just want to harm others. Or perhaps you were getting revenge for a perceived slight. The latter case is ESPECIALLY troubling if the person shot is someone known to you, like in the above situation.

        Call 911, say there was an incident that requires law enforcement and an ambulance, and give the location and your description. Say anything else and you are opening yourself up to all sorts of problems. Before the cops get there, call your attorney or carry insurance and tell them you are involved in an incident and need their services, and give them the location of the incident.

        When the cops get there most are smart enough to know what happened. STFU and say only one word: lawyer. The cops will take you to jail and you’ll probably sit there at least 24 hours, but that’s the way it works. To expect to walk just after the incident is unrealistic. You WILL spend some time behind bars until the machinery gets moving. Your firearm WILL be confiscated as evidence. The cops WILL comb the entire scene for evidence and they WILL crawl up your a**hole investigating you, so think about what you have in your home, your phone, your browser history, and any other tracks you leave, and do something about it BEFORE an incident like this happens. Any detail the cops find WILL be used against you, so take preventative measures now and STFU if an incident happens.

        • “What are you gonna do?? Admit you shot someone???”

          A claim of self-defense is an affirmative defense: yes, I shot that person. Barn door is already open. You have to legally admit this anyway, why would you not verbally explain to police (not detectives or investigators, I mean the very first cop on the scene as well as 911) from the beginning: “I was attacked, I was scared I’d lose my life”? Also, there might be evidence or a witness in your favor the cops don’t know about. You want them to maybe find them, or maybe not? I don’t understand why you trust the cops to be on your side for evidence and witnesses, while you don’t trust them with your (minimal) words. They don’t give a shit about you. You give a shit about you. Defend yourself vigorously, because no one else will. There are plenty of stupid defense attorneys out there, as well. This is why I pay both CCW Safe and Andrew Branca to be on my side, if God forbid, I need them because I have seen too many clowns who do their clients no good because they don’t understand self-defense law.

          I never said talk to police for half an hour. Say the absolute minimum, and say you’d like to cooperate but only with your lawyer and that you need to assert your right to silence. It won’t hurt you to show a jury that you are doing things properly. It will only help you. You must make everyone know you were not the aggressor, you were the victim. You cannot do this effectively, or at all, if you follow the advice in that video above.

          Prosecutors are gonna screw with you no matter what. I care more what a jury thinks than a dickhead prosecutor. Why make it harder on yourself by looking like a guilty person from the start?

          I don’t subscribe to the say nothing approach. I subscribe to the say-only-what’s-vital-and-minimal-and-no-more approach, which includes 911, which you yourself agree with, which is smart.

      • Why did the mentally I’ll person have a weapon? Would still be alive if it had been taken away once dementia was diagnosed.

      • How many actual such incidents have you been involved in Private Travis? Opinions and arseh…..

  2. If you are foolish enough to move in with a rap sheet then you need more than one attorney and
    psychiatric help.

    • I wouldn’t be so harsh on someone who is taking care of a close relative. Having strong family bonds is a good thing.

      • There are no gray areas with that one. She only sees the world in ‘A’ or ‘B’, black-or-white. And if your opinion is different than hers, it’s *you* who are wrong.

        Yet strangely, she fails to see how that makes her an actual, totalitarian *fascist*, what she claims to hate… 🙁

        • Sorry, but I have to go with Debbie on this one. Family, best friend, ex-partner, whatever, you need to recognize your limitations. You cannot fix what’s wrong in their heads. Refuse to recognize that and don’t be surprised when you get attacked in your sleep. Hope you get a warm feeling from martyrdom.

        • “Hope you get a warm feeling from martyrdom.”

          I really hope she takes that advise, but I *highly* doubt it… 🙁

        • Debbie is correct. Speaking from experience with a drug addicted family member that was also a felon, you’re just setting yourself up for all sorts of expensive abuse trying to care for someone that doesn’t want it. It’s hard, but it’s better to let things take their course. They made their bed, they need to lie in it.

  3. Always wondered:

    Even if you have your attorney on speed dial, or have a business card in your wallet, after an arrest when away from home, how do you get to call your lawyer, when LEO have taken your phone and wallet? It’s not as if they will let you access the internet to find the phone number.

    • Oh thats easy. one: call 9-11 what to say has been covered in depth. Two call your lawyer immediately after, before the police get there.

    • Cops are minutes (or more) away, your phone is right there, maybe call before the cops arrive…

    • You call them before they arrive. One shooting defense company calls themselves “The Second Call.” Call 911. Report the incident as tersely as possible. Hang up and call the number which should be listed in your contacts or speed dial. They should have a 24 hour attorney on tap to handle the police over your phone as they arrive arrive. Ignore commands from the 911 operator. They do not have the force of law. You will be told to stay on the line. DO NOT STAY ON THE LINE. You are being recorded and anything you say can be used against you during the trial. No Miranda warning is necessary. Your statements will come in as a spontaneous admission, perfectly legally admitted in every state of the union and the federal courts too. If the group you belong to does not have a 24 hour attorney service, you should join an additional group that has such a service. I cannot stress enough the necessity of having an attorney on the phone with you before the cops hit your front door.

      • Understand.

        If time permits, between a self-defense shooting at large, and arrival of cops, calling a lawyer might be possible. In a shooting incident, time might be compressed to the point making such call may not be possible.

        Maybe there is never a situation where the defender does not have time to make the call to a lawyer.

    • If you dont manage to call your lawyer by the time they grab you, you STFU until they let you call your lawyer.

      The police are not your friends.

      • “If you dont manage to call your lawyer by the time they grab you, you STFU until they let you call your lawyer.”

        I understand the sentiment, but still, how do you get the number to call, if your phone and wallet are confiscated? After a self-defense shooting, one might be frozen in place, unable to think clearly, rationally, or even at all. In such a circumstance making a 911 call might note even be possible for the defender, who is arrested, even though catatonic.

  4. “His grandfather walked into his bedroom and fired a shot at Nievar. Fortunately, he missed. In response, Nievar drew his own carry weapon and fired, striking and killing his grandfather. ”
    This is horrible. I don’t know why but for me this is just a gut punch. Maybe it’s because I had such a close relationship with my Grandfather, and would give up a year of my life to spend one more day with the man, but damn…..

  5. Common sense says “trust no one BUT your lawyer” don’t offer ANY information and answer any questions as briefly as possible, cooperate but be wary… Ten years with USCCA, don’t leave home without it…

  6. Your Lawsheild, or whoever you pick, that money they get goes towards lobbying Congress to pass a law to make mandatory gunm insurance.
    You cant trust no one when it comes to money.
    If grandpa missed he probably did it on purpose, I’d have packed my bags and left. Oh well I guess getting shot beats dying in a nursing home.

  7. does U.S. LawShield or others COVER your costs no matter what you might have to plea to? I have heard if you stray one inch from their ‘plan’ to save your OWN neck(even if you are going to jail for 50 years and a plea would get a a few months), they cut your coverage and seek payment back for any costs so far

    • Have a good look at CCW Safe dot com. first
      They pay up front. Not reimburse you afterwards.
      Go with the Ultimate Plan. WHY you ask?
      Because while you’re being held in jail for a possible murder or manslaughter charge is not a good time to be wishing that you had bought THE BEST Defense Ins. that *you could have*..instead of the lesser plan you purchased….
      Think about it…it makes good sense.

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