Today we are going to go through what “stand your ground” and self defense statutes mean to someone who has to kill someone to save their own life. Most states have these statutes and they are all modeled on nearly every states statutes so, I’ll use Florida’s where I live as a case in point given that Florida is pretty much a mix of liberals and conservatives that no other state can say it is.
Florida statutes FS 776.012 and FS 776.013 state:
“If you believe you are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, you no longer have a duty to retreat before you fire. Thus, you can stand your ground, and claim self-defense when you’re arrested and tried.” (Emphasis mine.)
Get that? When you’re arrested and tried. Which is exactly what a lot of people are going through right now.
See what you guys don’t know is these statutes have so many administrative requirements that no one who’s life might have been in danger can ever think that he or her won’t be arrested for the simple fact that they saved their own lives. The unwritten rules which cops, judges and state attorneys know that you don’t and that they will disclose before it’s way too late, if ever, maybe when you are in front of the judge in an orange jumpsuit and legchains and handcuffs will never be explained to you. Then there’s the politics, Lord help you if you saved your own life at the expense of a black gangbanger who’s parents have the wherewithal to contact Al Sharpton. Then you’re screwed.
And even if you’ve lived an exemplary life, never having been arrested, loving wife and children, coach the little league team, don’t think that the elected sheriffs, mayors, judges and state attorneys aren’t influenced by the opinions of voters, the remarks of the local newspaper hacks and the expressions of the talking heads on your local news.
They are. Now you’re really screwed.
Every time something like this happens, they’re like vultures, they fly out of every media center, every courthouse, every police department, every law office and anywhere these vultures think they can get some media attention, legal fees or donations.
See, what they want is to be shielded from their own shortcomings. They don’t give a shit about us that had to protect ourselves from their spawn. And they’ll do anything, even put an innocent man in jail for the rest of his life if that’s what it takes.
They do their best to make sure that good people trust the system. Why do you think there’s so many cop and trial shows on TV? So that when you get sucked up in the system you’ll think the “system works“. Which it doesn’t, but most people think it does and that’s exactly why so many people’s lives have been ruined for the rest of their days no matter the verdict in their trial.
For this article I’m going to give you the hard truth about what the police, detectives and the state attorney general are going to investigate when you have to defend yourself. This is more something you have to think about when it happens but forewarned is forearmed with the knowledge.
1. When the shit first hits the fan, state loudly, “I’m armed.” Do NOT brandish the weapon. That my friends is a felony in every state. If you take your gun out make damned sure you have to use it.
2. If you have to shoot, make sure you keep shooting until your attacker is down. If the bastard runs off, STOP SHOOTING. Otherwise you’re looking at a murder charge. Likewise if you shoot him in the back.
3. Don’t shoot more than 10 feet outside of your home or car. To cops and juries, this means you chased the bastard. Inside of your home or car however, blast away and make sure the asshole can’t hurt your family or yourself ever again.
4. When the guy goes down, kick his weapon away from him but NOT TOO FAR. Then step on it and stay stepped on it. You’d be surprised how many bystanders will scoop up a weapon for their own purposes. And, gunshots will draw everyone in the area out to see what’s happening.
5. Under no circumstances and I mean UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, shoot a final kill shot after your attacker is down. This will get you a comfy cell on death row no matter how much the dirtbag deserved it. I hate to say it but this is the state of the supposedly called “justice system” today.
6. Immediately dial 911 or have someone in the immediate area do so. Say, “There’s been a shooting at (area or address). Send an ambulance and a supervisor. Asking for a supervisor generally gets you police personnel that have seen this type of shit before and will get you someone on the scene who is way more experienced than your average beat cop. Then hang the fuck up, don’t say another word. All 911 calls are recorded and you don’t wan’t to have to explain in court what you were babbling about in the adrenaline rush.
7. Start taking pictures. Of everything, the asshole you had to shoot, the weapon he came at you with, the surroundings, witnesses and anything that you might think pertinent. Then immediately download them to your email accounts, as many as possible. The cops are going to be extremely interested in confiscating your phone, tablet or any type of media recording device. Make sure that all of these devices are password protected so that they need a warrant to access them.
8. If the guy you shot is still alive, you have to render aid. That’s right, if you let the bastard die without rendering aid, that’s an automatic manslaughter charge. Disgusting? Yes, but it’s better than spending five to life in the pen.
9. If the bad guy runs off, you still have to report it to the police. If you shot the guy and he makes it to a hospital, he’s GOING TO LIE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED. Don’t report it and you’ll find yourself in a jail cell before the night is over.
10. Don’t leave the scene. Listen to me, DON’T LEAVE THE SCENE. If you have your foot on the weapon you were threatened with and you don’t leave, your credibility goes up by a factor of ten. You stood your ground, acted like an adult and waited until the authorities got there.
The bad? You’re still going to be arrested and shoved into jail. Don’t say a fucking thing no matter how innocent you might be. SAY NOTHING. You’ve already done everything that the law says you have to, now it’s time to figure out your future strategy.
Alright, you’ve followed my advice and the cops are on the way. What’s next? I really hate to say this, but it gets worse. After you’ve defended yourself, your body will flood with adrenaline. Your arms and legs will shake and you won’t be able to talk clearly. Worst of all, the adrenaline coursing through your system will essentially shut down your pre-frontal cortex in your brain, the area that governs speech and logical thought. You are about to be interrogated by the police with the most important portion of your brain out of action.
This is not good.
When the cops show, you’ll be juiced on adrenaline, paralyzed by what just happened and have a undeniable urge to talk. If you do, that’s when the trouble will start.
The cops aren’t anyone to confess to, they are by their very nature, YOUR INQUISITORS. Remember this last sentence and sear it into your brain, because if you don’t, welcome yourself to a long prison sentence. Say these words and nothing more:
“I was attacked.”
“I am the victim.”
“I acted in self-defense.”
“I will swear out a complaint against my attacker.”
“I will talk to you only after consultation with my attorney.”
Then shut the fuck up. Completely up. The only thing the cops are going to see is a perp on the ground and you with a gun in your hand. And just one other thing, if you’ve fired your firearm, don’t re-conceal it, if the threat is gone, leave it in your hand, in the open, they’re going to confiscate it anyway so there’s no reason to give them to search you for it.
Here’s my reasoning behind these statements and it’s not only advice I’ve gotten from my lawyer and a couple of retired cops that I know, it’s this. From the police point of view, it’s rare that it’s obvious who attacked who. After all, a body is on the ground and you are standing there with an obviously fired firearm. Naturally you should say that you had been attacked, acted in self-defense and will swear out a complaint.
Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of your legal defense. Your life is going to become increasingly complicated in just a very short time.
Mostly, you’ll just spend an overnight stint in jail and be released on your own recognizance until the State’s Attorney decides whether to charge you or not. If not, you’re cool. Kill the wrong person and then your life will quickly go to hell. The absolute worst thing that could happen is if the SA determines that your obvious self defense gives them some political advantage.
We’ll discuss this later.