Involved in an assault while defending yourself?

More often we hear about someone being involved in an assault while defending themselves. If you are involved in such an incident, you should immediately contact a lawyer to assess the situation. Each incident has its own set of facts, and those facts should be analyzed by a lawyer who understands the law as it will be applied before you engage in conversation with the police. You should also contact a lawyer who has a good relationship with law enforcement. 

For instance, you are at home working in the back yard, blowing leaves while your children are jumping on the trampoline. An angry neighbor appears on your property and begins to yell and scream about your inability to control weeds that are encroaching on his property. Sammy the neighbor has a rake in one hand and a shovel in the other. Sammy is telling you that he is going to beat you with his shovel if you don’t do something about these weeds of yours. It is more than apparent that Sammy is acting unreasonable.

Question:  do you run inside and lock the door and call 911? Well, that depends on the facts. How close is Sammy to you? Is he approaching you quickly? Do you have time to go inside and call 911? Are you children in harm’s way while playing in the yard? Does Sammy have the present ability to inflict harm on you or your children? See, there are so many factors to consider in so little time.

You must assess the situation quickly.  Sammy is now standing within striking distance and has his shovel raised. You remember that you have your pistol in your back pocket. The shovel is being swung toward your head. Can you shoot? Should you shoot? 

The answer is simple. You have the right and authority to protect your safety and the safety of others around you in this situation.  Remember your children are jumping on the trampoline. They are frightened and crying. Sammy is swinging away. You fire your pistol and Sammy is hit and goes down. Nosey Nellie next door calls the police and officers show up. They want to talk to you about the incident. What should you do?

Call a lawyer before you speak to police. Be polite and explain that you would like to speak with a lawyer before answering any of their questions. Tell them that you will cooperate once you have discussed the matter in private with a lawyer. They will allow you to do that because they know that is your right. The officers there can control the scene and you should allow them to do that without argument.  But DO NOT speak to them regarding the FACTS until you speak to a lawyer. The facts will determine whether you acted lawfully. You must choose a lawyer that understands how to advocate your position on your behalf immediately with law enforcement.

I am available 24/7. My cell is 864-809-1226. Please call me so that I can help you understand the likely outcome based on the facts that you give me. Again, the facts of each and every incident are always different and distinct from one another. You most likely have a lot at stake and should not engage with the police until you have discussed your situation with a lawyer. I am a retired police officer and understand the importance of having a good relationship with law enforcement.

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Attorney Steve Denton

Blog post by attorney Steve Denton. Click here to read more about Steve.

The posts on this website/blog are published as a service to our clients and friends. They are intended to provide general information only and should not be construed to be formal legal advice regarding any specific situation and should not be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship. Success in the past does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future representation.

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