A guest post by Texas Law Shield In the U.S. Law Shield and Texas Law Shield Forums, a member asked the lawyers: Q: If you are ever in a situation in which deadly force has been used, is there anything at all other than your name that you should tell the LEO when he/she arrives? In the Texas Law Shield booklet, it seems to advise taking the 5th all the time. If the LEO on the scene asks, “What happened here?”, should you offer any explanation, such as “He had a gun and tried to kill me,” or should you say nothing except, “I invoke the 5th amendment, and I want to call my lawyer”? I’m pretty sure that will get you arrested on the spot every time, so is this to be expected 100% of the time? Or suppose you are “restraining” a burglar by holding him/her at gunpoint until the police arrive, and they arrive finding you pointing a gun at a supposed burglar. If the LEO asks what happened, do you explain the burglar broke into your home, or should you say, “I take the 5th”? The bottom-line question is: Do you ever want to provide an explanation/reason on the spot to an LEO, or ever say anything at all? My assumption at this point is that the police have arrived too fast for you to have already called the hotline number, even if you could have.
Texas Law Shield responds: That’s a great question. What you should say is what you would say in a 911 call. Just:
- Identify yourself as the victim.
- State what crime has been committed against you, for example, “I was robbed, I was carjacked” —whatever caused you to pull your gun.
- Identify the perpetrator.
- Tell them that you will provide more details later on.
Then call the lawyer hotline as soon as possible. Unless the police take you down immediately under the assumption that you are the perpetrator, they should let you talk. If the police do not allow you to have privacy to talk to your lawyer, that is a good indication that they believe you may be at fault. Therefore, in that case your best bet is to say nothing else.