Faithful readers of this blog know I have posted this video before, of a lawyer giving a lecture at a law school about why you shouldn’t talk to the police.
It’s worth watching the full 47 minutes, but not everyone has the time to do that.
So these two lawyers have managed to condense that lesson down to a mere sixty seconds.
I am not a lawyer, but these guys are, and to me that goes beyond being in an unlicensed dispensary to being just generally useful advice.
I just want to see the first guy in court say under sworn testimony “on the advice of my counsel, I am going to shut the fuck up.”
After reading Miguel’s post, I will concede that he is correct, that shutting the fuck up is not the best advice following a defensive shooting.
In my defense, I said this was “just generally useful advice.” Generally useful does not apply 100% of the time.
Having taken God knows how many classes for the various concealed carry permits I have, what I remember being told by the lawyers and police who taught the class was:
- If you are involved in a shooting, call 911 and report it. Even if others have already done so.
- Identify and describe yourself and let them know you have a CCW permit and were the victim of an attempted crime. That way the police rolling onto the scene have some idea what to expect.
- Be honest about what happened and polite – this may be hard since shootings are very stressful – but don’t overshare (“This motherfucker here tried to stab me” is not the best way to describe the situation).
There is a lot of overlap here with Massad Ayoob’s Five-Point Checklist that Miguel posted.
I will agree with Miguel on everything he said about what to do post a defensive shooting.
However… as general legal advice goes, I will have to stand by the shut the fuck up approach.
I have never (and hopefully will never) be involved in a defensive shoot.
I have been pulled over. One time I was speeding. I know I was. I was pulled over by an unmarked police car.
The cop asked me “do you know how fast you were going?”
I said “I invoke my 5th Amendment right.” Yeah, I know, smart ass response.
He let me go. He didn’t have me on radar and was expecting me to lie a little “oh, I was just going a little over, not that much…”
There are any number of non defensive shooting related reasons why a (usually) law abiding gun owner might have contact with the police.
Doing 62 in a 55 zone.
Not realizing the fish in your bucket was too small or the wrong subspecies for the season.
Any number of minor, incidental, regulatory crimes that cause each and every one of us to commit three felonies a day.
It’s these types of infractions where good people try and talk their way out of trouble because they didn’t think they were doing something wrong and had no intention of breaking the law, and that is when they get into real trouble.
For a defensive shoot, don’t follow these guys’ advice and listen to the experts that Miguel has quoted.
When you don’t know what counts as a “personal use quantity” and bring too many bottles of duty free rum back from your cruise to Jamaica and are technically bootlegging*, shut the fuck up.
*Yes, this was a real case we were involved in. The guy thought a personal use quantity was everything he could fit into roll-abroad suitcase and tried arguing that point with customs at the Port of Miami.
3 thoughts on “Best Legal Advice EVAR!!! (Usually, some exceptions may apply) – Updated”
Also read: You have the Right to Remain Innocent, also by James Duane. I have a copy and want every member of my family to have one.
I don’t know. First, the guys themselves kind of annoy me; obviously set themselves up a nice little theatrical persona and “brand” to drum up business, which is annoying (but legit). Second, it totally depends on the circumstances. if I was a cop, and I pull somebody over for speeding, and they start right out being belligerent and playing the lawyer, it’s just going to make me want to do whatever I can to screw them, instead of just letting them off with a warning. If the crime is more serious, I would follow their advice, but BE POLITE as you can about it. Don’t act like a tough guy, just give them to understand that you are given to believe that your best advice is to not answer any questions, I’m sorry, but can I please speak to my lawyer? While you MIGHT get off by refusing to speak, playing the tough guy and hiring a good lawyer, it’s a lot easier if you don’t have the cops thinking ‘geez, what a prick, if I can fuck this guy, I swear I WILL!”
As far as speeding, yes, don’t tell them how fast you were going. Like someone said, very often they are just fishing for an admission, because they THINK you were speeding, but they cannot PROVE it. If you admit it, they have grounds to cite you. Instead you say “I really am not sure” (and it’s not a lie; how fast you were going when? At what exact point? I haven’t calibrated my speedometer). They cannot prove that you didn’t know how fast you were going, and I doubt they can charge you for anything for not knowing. You were not paying attention, which is why you may have been going too fast, and afterwards, you were paying attention to the offier behind you. By the time you looked at the speedometer, you were going under the limit.
So their advice may be correct in principle, but the ATTITUDE they seem to suggest is not helpful at all.
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