Right to remain silent

Right to remain silent

This is a discussion on Right to remain silent within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Theoretically you use your weapon in a situation where a guy had a knife or gun, threatened your life, seemingly an open and shut case. ...

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Thread: Right to remain silent

  1. #1
    Member Array natimage's Avatar
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    Right to remain silent

    Theoretically you use your weapon in a situation where a guy had a knife or gun, threatened your life, seemingly an open and shut case. Because of his actions the BG is now dead. Cops come onto the scene, don't arrest or mirandize you and just ask you what happened. Do you wait say you want to exercise your right to remain silent until after speaking with an attorney? At that point will they arrest you even if they weren't going to originally? Or could they not arrest you and then at a later date the DA decides he wants to pursue charges, is that possible? Regardless of the situation is it best to ALWAYS exercise your right to remain silent even if you're not mirandized or arrested?
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    "I will make a statement as soon as I can speak with my lawyer."

    Unless you have ice-water flowin through your veins you will definitely be shaken up. Officers involved in a shooting have the right to seek counsel before making a statement (at least in my state they do.) Do not run off at the mouth even though you will want to. It is human nature to get things off your chest that are bothering you. Wait to speak to a lawyer, or if you are Catholic, a Priest. They are the only people that can not be compelled to testify against you in court. Your spouse can be called to testify against you. Do not put them in that position by spilling it all to them.
    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
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  3. #3
    Member Array tomtsr's Avatar
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    Mas Ayoob says:

    1. Call 911
    2. Officer this person attacked me, I will sign the complaint,
    3. Officer here is the evidence (knife, gun, ball bat, whatever).
    4. Officer these are the witnesses.
    5. Officer you will have my full cooperation in 24 hrs after I see my attorney.

    Can't improve on that.

    What you say WILL be used against you in court.
    Train like your life depends on it, because it does.

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  4. #4
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    This is an area where discretion is a good thing and what ever you say should be worded wisely. So, you could say "I'm not talking without my lawyer" or you could say something along the lines of "Officer, I'm very shook up right now as someone just tried to kill me. I will cooperate in every way possible with your investigation, I just need a short time to gather my thoughts and speak with my attorney about the situation". There are things you could say here though that are cut and dry and you also don't want to look scared to talk to them.

    There's nothing wrong with pointing out that you were attacked and you were scared for your life. Ayoob suggests saying you'd like the man that assaulted you arrested (or sign the complaint like mentioned above), even if he's DOA because it shows you were the one that was the victim, etc. Not sure what I think about that, but he knows more than I do about the legalities of it.

    Personally, when I went through my situation, I told the detectives everything they wanted to know. They shook my hand, told me I did a good job and had no other choice…. They were very cool from the moment they got there until it was over.
    Devilsclaw likes this.
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    #1 The are noted persons in the SD field that espouse saying nothing and those who favor a short statement with crucial details. research it and make your choice.

    #2 That is indeterminate and will depend on the specific circumstances and officers involved.

    #3 That is also possible.

    #4 Yes, but at what point, depends on whose opinion you value the most.
    DefConGun likes this.
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    The right to remain silent is probably the biggest favor you can do yourself after something like that. Because anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. That should tell you right there. However, I would decline to speak in a manner similar to the example that 357and40 gave above.
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  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array ArkhmAsylm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomtsr View Post
    Mas Ayoob says:

    1. Call 911
    2. Officer this person attacked me, I will sign the complaint,
    3. Officer here is the evidence (knife, gun, ball bat, whatever).
    4. Officer these are the witnesses.
    5. Officer you will have my full cooperation in 24 hrs after I see my attorney.

    Can't improve on that.

    What you say WILL be used against you in court.
    I'd buy that for a dollar!
    INccwchris likes this.
    "Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right." -- U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, Re: U.S. vs Emerson (1999)

  8. #8
    Ex Member Array F350's Avatar
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    There ARE cases where statements made at the time of the incident conflicted with statements made later (the Idaho 10mm shooting) and helped send the victim (shooter) to prison.

    "Officer, that man tried to kill me! I'm just too shook up right now to give a statement". I personally do not intend to say anything about talking to a lawyer or my 5th amendment rights, just that I am in no condition to make a statement.

  9. #9
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    You also might want to have a lawyer - one the specializes in criminal defense. Your brother-in-law real estate attorney* won't be of much help, other than telling you to remain silent while he sends an e-mail to his colleagues in the bar for a recommendation. So take a few hours, find a defense attorney you are comfortable with, meet with him or her to discuss what you should do in case the unlikely happens, and carry the business card with you.

    *No offense to the real estate attorneys on the board. I'm an attorney, but I don't know squat about criminal law.....
    RoadKill and Secret Spuk like this.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array DoctorBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomtsr View Post
    Mas Ayoob says:

    1. Call 911
    2. Officer this person attacked me, I will sign the complaint,
    3. Officer here is the evidence (knife, gun, ball bat, whatever).
    4. Officer these are the witnesses.
    5. Officer you will have my full cooperation in 24 hrs after I see my attorney.

    Can't improve on that.

    What you say WILL be used against you in court.

    +1 to this!

    And consider joining the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network BEFORE having to invoke the staetments above...
    Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network, Inc.

  11. #11
    Member Array torgo1968's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I've read a bunch of opinions and this is what I've decided on:

    "Officer, I was in fear for my life and I discharged my firearm. I will cooperate with your investigation once I've spoken to my attorney."

    Fear that you are going to die pretty much covers any possible legitimate self defense shooting without giving any details that might be used against you later.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomtsr View Post
    Mas Ayoob says:

    1. Call 911
    2. Officer this person attacked me, I will sign the complaint,
    3. Officer here is the evidence (knife, gun, ball bat, whatever).
    4. Officer these are the witnesses.
    5. Officer you will have my full cooperation in 24 hrs after I see my attorney.

    Can't improve on that.

    What you say WILL be used against you in court.
    This is my approach.

    I have read a couple of cases where being COMPLETELY silent (to the point of not pointing out critical evidence) has gotten the victim in considerable trouble.

    In one case person A did not talk to the detectives until 2 days after the incident and only then did he say that Person B (who died at the scene) had a weapon and claimed self-defense. They went back to the scene to look for the weapon but it was a bad neighborhood in a bad part of town and no weapon could be found. Person A was charged with murder. We will never know if he was telling the truth or not because no weapon was found, in two days finding a witness was impossible and there was a dead man that appeared to have been murdered without any evidence to the contrary. Perhaps if he had talked immediately and told officers where to look for the weapon they may have found it and he wouldn't be looking at a murder charge.

    In another case, same thing.. guy was attacked by a man with a gun, shot the bad guy and the bad guy dropped his gun behind a low wall into some bushes on the other side. The responding officers did not see the gun and the guy took three days to tell them about it. In those three days because they had no story but the story of evidence and the evidence was pointing to murder they charged him and THEN he came back and told them about the gun. THANKFULLY for him when they went back the gun was still in the bushes on the other side of the wall and the charges were dropped but if anyone had come along in those three days and picked up the gun he would be in DEEP doo doo.

    I DO NOT advocate giving a full, rambling statement.. but people are people and CSI is not like it is on TV where they NEVER MISS ANYTHING! Sometimes just being able to point out crucial evidence before you button your lip is a good thing.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    I think the decision to remain silent is a personal one, and should be based on each individual situation. The Police have absoloutly no obligation to mirandize you. Unless they intend to arrest you, have arrested you, and are interogating you. 75% of a shooting investigation depends on forensics. And forensics dont lie. Another police tool will be proximity. As long as you are in a place, at a time that reflects common logic, you probably would have very little to worry about. The police will most likely figure out what happened. Any modern police dept, or states attorney understands that eye witness testimony is the least reliable evidence.

    Absent politics there is no reason for the police to make a decision at the scene if there is any indication the shooter was acting purely in self defense. However there are police officers and detectives who have no concern for justice, and will always grab the low hanging fruit.

    If you do say something... For GOD's sake... DONT LIE!!!

  14. #14
    Ex Member Array apvbguy's Avatar
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    if you ever have an interaction with the cops do yourself a favor and keep your mouth shut, you may think you're helping by blabbering but anything you say can be twisted turned and used to hurt you.

  15. #15
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    There have been many instances in my life where I had the right to remain silent, just not the ability. After many years of being married, hopefully I have finally managed to learn that particular skill and can employ it if I ever find myself in a SD situation when the adrenaline is pumping.
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