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What to do after a self defense shooting if you are poor?

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Bazoo, Nov 3, 2022.

  1. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    So if you carry a gun and have to use it for self defense, and it’s obvious self defense maybe with a witness of your spouse.

    So my question is how best to handle the aftermath of a shooting. Provided you are poor. You don’t have a lawyer on retainer. You don’t even know a lawyers name. You got no money or valuables to sell to pay for one. And you don’t have concealed carry insurance.

    So what should a person do in that instance? Talk to the police and tell them the truth?

    I’d like not to make this a “you can’t afford not to have concealed carry insurance” type of thread. I for one cannot afford it. At least not currently, and I’m sure there are plenty of other folks that are in the same boat. I want a serious answer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2022
  2. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    If you can get a lawyer on a small retainer (even a lower tiered lawyer) he/she MIGHT be all you need to prevent getting charged. Once the retainer is gone and/or you are charged, you may have to ride it out with a public defender. Do you have a credit card? Can you get one? That may be another option for some funds in an emergency. Just set it aside as a contingency plan for legal fees. Wishful thinking and not the best plan, but better than no plan.
     
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  3. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    Use the gun to save your life, and only to save your life.

    Later you are at least alive to contend with legal expenses.
     
  4. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    Where you live determines a lot too. Who and why you shoot does as well. Contrary to popular belief, there are places left where a self defense shooting is brushed off pretty easy. There tends to be a lot less crime in those places too.

    Now if you go all Rittenhouse and publicly go "counter protest" with a AR and 900 people film and take pictures of you and you make YouTube... you need a lawyer. A decent one. And even better the prosecution gets a bad one. The Mall shooting is an example of the other way. Where you are and the spin the media puts on the story may dictate the need for a lawyer. Another is the video of one man on his porch who goes back in the house and gets his gun and comes out and shoots the ex husband. In 3/4 of the country that wouldn't have been a no charges situation.

    Nothing against Rittenhouse or anything either. I'm glad he got the outcome he did, but even on here folks were split on how that verdict would be. But if someone bashes my door in and I shoot him im 99.999 percent positive I'll be fine here. Conversely if I go to an abortion clinic in Charlotte with an AR to watch a protest and shoot a pro choice activist in a handmaid outfit that I angered by wearing a red hat in front of 50 cell phone cams livestreamed on the internet, im probably screwed and will be arrested and on trial.

    This day and time IF you are poor, and IF you have a justified shoot but you get hosed and put on trial, there is always the internet. Plenty of ways to appeal to people to donate to you. Wouldn't be my first choice, probably last. but its always there.
     
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  5. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    Bazoo, I know you originally posted this in the state's laws on self defense thread, but think about the situation where that shooting took place. Look at the comments below...
    Those are all extreme and visible circumstances. If you insert yourself into a situation of questionable circumstances and/or with high visibility, expect a DA to pursue you with vigor. He's an elected person.
    But if you are involved a more-or-less clear cut crime on innocents, you aren't such a visible liability for the DA.

    Again... shoot only when it's life's last choice.
     
  6. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    I've seen this preached by many people who have experience with Self Defense shootings. Never, ever, ever, ever talk to the police without a lawyer representing you present. After the shooting you state that you feared for your life and had no other choice but to defend yourself. You then state that you'll not be discussing it further without representation present.

    Remember, the police are not your friends in this instance. They are there to collect evidence to determine whether a crime has been committed and anything you say in the heat of the moment can and will be used against you. As I was told in Boot Camp, keep your mouth shut and never volunteer anything.

    I get people are poor, but having a lawyer can make the difference between being exonerated or being convicted.
     
  7. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    All the insurance in the world won't cure bad decision making while enough money might get you the caliber of attorney that got OJ aquitted. We all make the best decisions we can based on our own circumstances. Foregoing CC insurance we'll probably never need to pay for things we need daily doesn't require a lot of thought.

    You are guaranteed the right to an attorney if you cannot afford one, which covers any criminal proceeding. We don't have debtor's prison anymore, so if you got sued for everything you have, they can't throw you in the pokey for not being able to pay. All of nothing is still nothing.

    Just be sure that if you're ever put in a situation where you're required to defend yourself or loved ones, it's the absolute last resort. No other decision you make will be as significant as that one.
     
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  8. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    My wife and i have US law shield. We pay monthly. It's 27.80 a month for both of us. We have the S.D coverage and expert witness. Maybe you can afford it that way Bazoo.
     
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  9. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    I agree 100% that that's the best advice. But ive seen it play out a few times with employees (350-400 people depending on time frame) in only 1 case did the person need or have a lawyer. And his case was iffy at best. All were turned loose with no case.

    I've seen far worse outcomes from illegal hunting activities than self defense cases.

    But best to listen to the advice above. Never speak without a lawyer and that's the advice I give as well.
     
  10. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    I appreciate the replies.

    There is no way I can put a lawyer on retainer or buy insurance. And a credit card is not an option. I don’t have a safe full of guns like many here, so can’t sell a spare gun to afford it.

    But being poor, I still feel the desire to do the best I can to protect my family.

    I avoid situations and places that seem dangerous. I work from my farm, so not in town daily. My biggest threat is going to Walmart. A home invasion is arguably more likely but everyone in the area knows I carry, and am home all the time, so I don’t expect that. So basically I live what others would call a safe life.
     
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  11. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    What do you do if you can’t afford a lawyer?

    If you use your gun in self defense, and the cops come and ask initial questions, how do you handle that? How do you not talk to them without a lawyer if you don’t have a lawyer?

    Do you refuse to talk? I assume they arrest you then. Then wait for them to appoint you a defender?
     
  12. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Random Guy

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    Assuming it’s a legitimate self defense case, and you are charged, a very real option in todays world is www.gofundme.com and a social media presence, you would likely be surprised what can be raised.
     
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  13. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    it's definitely a possibility but not a certainty. You can be arrested or not arrested just as easily with an attorney. Chances are at that point you've already been taken in for questioning, whether you've been charged or not. If you can't afford an attorney, chances are you can't afford bond either if you are charged...so you may be there a while either way.
     
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  14. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    Okay, what about the initial questioning. Before being charged. In my area clear cut self defense isn’t likely to bring charges. I know in some places it doesn’t matter, they charge you no matter what.

    You shoot in self defense. Cops come. Do you explain what happened? Or do you say I can’t talk without my lawyer? How best to handle the initial cops without a lawyer is my question here.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2022
  15. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    When our house (apartment above the business I worked at) burnt down in 15, we tried that. We raise 500 bucks. I ain’t no social butterfly. I don’t know how folks raise thousands. I avoid social media like Facebook.

    I remember around the same time, someone else had a house fire. They raised about 30k. They had house insurance! they had a kid too.

    We had no kids at the time. And we didn’t have renters insurance. I lost my home and job and all my possessions. So I was baffled how these other folks raised 30k and we raised 500.

    Off topic so I’ll get to the point. I don’t put any stock into GoFundMe.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2022
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  16. dweis

    dweis Member

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    This is a possible option if you are in a situation like the OP describes. First, you will have to have some communication with the police, but it does not have to be by answering questions. You tell the police that you are concerned about answering any questions without a lawyer present, and that you cannot afford a lawyer. You provide them with a brief spoken statement and relate the basics of what happened. For example: I was standing at counter when the assailant pulled out a knife. I was in fear of losing my life. I shot him to protect myself. Then you stop talking. You will have to identify yourself. A drivers license will do that. If you have a CCW permit, you will have to show it too. The police can only hold you a certain amount of time without charging you. How long depends upon your state and local laws. If they charge you with a crime, you are immediately entitled to a lawyer, and since you cannot afford a lawyer you ask for a public defender. Don’t say anything else until you have spoken with the public defender.

    There are two things to do very soon. First call the public defenders office to see if they could represent you before you are charged. It might be that they can. Second, call the Bar Association to inquire about their pro bono representation policies. I know in PA all attorneys in practice must perform some level of free work from over time. I do not know is all states do the same. The Bar Association will be able to give you some advice about obtaining pro bono representation. If you know the answers to the 2 suggestions above, you will be ready to deal with the situation should it ever arise.
     
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  17. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    I'd imagine you handle it the same as if you did have an attorney. Adrenaline/fear/uncertainty can make our recollection foggy. Stick with the "I was afraid for my life" and no more. If they ask for your weapon, give it to them. If they ask for your ID, give it to them. Anything they need except a statement from you, let them have. Anything you say can (assume it will) be used against you. Cooperate, don't incriminate.
     
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  18. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Random Guy

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    It’s definitely not a guarantee, and it isn’t always that helpful…but like you said some other guy got 30 for his cause. It works for some people, it is an option that works for some, and it’s a free option.

    Beggars can’t be to choosy.
     
  19. Jimfern

    Jimfern Member

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    Anytime you have to go to court it's going to cost you more than you would probably guess. I had a cousin who had to spend $30K to defend himself with the charges actually dropped. This was not gun related but merely related to him video recording the police who were across the street and they decided they didn't like being recorded doing what they were doing. He was still out $30K and that was 20 years ago.
     
  20. Cacas ex Fortuna

    Cacas ex Fortuna Member

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    In washingrad you shoot any one for any reason you go to jail.
    If you get out or not is up to the DA.
     
  21. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    So the most reasonable priced option I know is $135 first year and $95 renewal:

    https://armedcitizensnetwork.org/

    I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know any advice I can offer you that means anything…
     
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  22. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

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    There's a lot of discussion on this site about things to do/not to do in order to avoid complicating your legal defense and to make it less likely that legal representation will be an absolute necessity.

    All that aside, I'll tell you one way that you can really turn the odds in your favor, but you won't like it. Stop carrying outside of your home and get some pepper spray. There's an obvious downside, but then you don't get something for nothing in this world.

    Here's an example of a nearly perfect firearm self-defense scenario.

    An elderly female defender, living alone, is attacked and badly injured inside her own modest home with clear evidence of a forcible break-in and multiple armed assailants. The firearm used for self defense would be an Olympic style rimfire target pistol or maybe a skeet/trap shotgun left to her by her father or husband who was an avid competitor. She would never have had any interest in firearms or shooting but would have kept the firearm for sentimental reasons and would have been careful to insure that all the appropriate laws were followed. The attackers would be linked to multiple other unsolved felony crimes in the area including at least one murder. All the attackers would have extensive felony records. The defender would have a completely clean criminal record and everyone who was interviewed would comment on what a nice person she was and how the whole neighborhood loved her, that she treated her dog well and that her yard always looked really nice. The police wouldn't ever even question the defender because she would be in the hospital unable to talk initially and by the time she was feeling better, the situation would be so obvious that there was no need for an interview. The defender would require extensive hospital care for her injuries and would be very obviously uncontrollably emotionally distraught at the thought she had been forced to use violence in her defense anytime she was asked about the situation.

    In a situation like that, I would say that the chances of needing any sort of legal representation would be very small. Start changing the details though...
     
  23. defjon

    defjon Member

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    Man, maybe we should include in this thread where a self defense shooting is brushed off and criminals or their family's can't sue if they're killed or injured committing a violent felony against you.

    Moving sucks but jail and financial ruin are also no fun.

    The deal mentioned above, 135 a year down to 95 for renewals sounds pretty good.
     
  24. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    Most people will tell you to call a lawyer. It's not bad advice, but sometimes it fails to look into the nuances of the situation.

    I'll preface this by saying that I'm a career law enforcement officer. I've seen justifiable and unjustifiable shootings in virtually every variety as I cruise into my third decade in this profession. Since we're talking about justifiable shootings in this case, I'll keep my comments in line with that assumption.

    Let me give you an example of the first defensive shooting I can recall investigating in my career: three armed gang members broke into a person's house in the middle of the night. They were confronted by the armed homeowner, who won a three on one gun battle against the suspects. Two suspects died on scene, one escaped with a gunshot wound. The homeowner was unharmed. My state has a "make my day" / "castle doctrine" law. In this instance the homeowner was never even handcuffed, let alone arrested, let alone indicted. He cooperated with an interview, and didn't bother calling a lawyer.

    I tell that story because I think it's important to illustrate that some shootings are so clear-cut in their legality that a lawyer wouldn't do much other than tell you not to go in talking like some macho idiot who enjoyed shooting the suspects. We didn't need a lawyer to tell him (or us) that his shooting was absolutely and 100% legally justifiable.

    Now, let me give a more recent example of a situation where someone probably would do well to call a lawyer. We recently had an event where two parties exchanged gunfire between two different cars following some sort of altercation on the road. One person in one of the vehicles died. Both parties claimed that the other side was the aggressor. In this instance it probably makes a lot of sense to at least consider some kind of legal representation. This case could be on the fringe anyway, because the legal justification for the shooting (from either vehicle) was a whole lot weaker than the justification the homeowner above had when he shot armed home invaders in his house in the middle of the night.

    What I'm driving at here is that having a lawyer on retainer is great if it's something that's in your budget, and something you feel like you need. But, if that's not the case (and it's not the case for most of us), then I would probably determine whether or not I was calling a lawyer based on the circumstances I knew about the shooting I was involved with. If you're in such a shooting, and the police bring you in for an interview under Miranda, then it's not a bad idea to say "I'd like to find a lawyer to represent me before I answer any questions about this incident."

    Even with all of this said, providing the responding officer with some sort of justification for your actions can also mean the difference between being arrested at the scene or just being interviewed later as part of the investigation. If you say absolutely nothing (as many in these forums will advocate), then why would any reasonable officer believe that you were a victim who defended yourself as opposed to an antagonist who murdered someone? Again, how much detail you go into without legal representation may need to be a judgment call on your part, but saying something like: "this person pulled a gun on me and demanded my wallet, and I shot him because he was going to kill me" at least gets the responding officers thinking about the fact that you had some reason for shooting the person you just shot.
     
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  25. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    I made this post prior to seeing the aforeposted comment.

    So the answer is either, buy concealed carry insurance or don’t carry a firearm?

    I been carrying for over 10 years. I haven’t always been as poor as I am now, but I’ve almost always been below the poverty level. I can’t buy the insurance currently. Fact is, if I had to come up with $20 bucks at this exact moment, it’d. mean the electric didn’t get paid or I’d have to sell something.

    I guess carrying without insurance is about as risky as not carrying. Course. I wonder what the chances are that if I need to use my gun that they try to prosecute me? I mean, if it’s clear cut SD, and the chance is mighty low.... then insurance seems less appealing.

    I think that in my area, they generally don’t prosecute SD cases unless their is evidence that it wasn’t SD. How do you find out if that’s the case in your particular area other than just the general feel of it?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2022
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