Home invasion defense usually consists of split second decisions. How would you handle a situation like this one? In part one and part two of our story, we shared the story of Mr. Smith, who defended himself against an invader in his home. This is the third and final installment of “Home Invasion Defense: What Would You Do?”
So, hopefully by now, you've read Gun Carrier's story about the guy who had the “break in”, and understand why it is so important to be properly trained in your weapon of choice. Now, let's take a look at the legal ramifications and how Mr. Smith may have really screwed himself over in court.
One of the biggest points we teach at our gun law seminars here in Pennsylvania, is to not say anything incriminating to the police because they could use it against you later on, if you find yourself in court. Instead, one of the first things you might want to do, is request to speak to your attorney.
Just make sure that when you do request to speak to your attorney, that you do so respectfully. After all, police officers are just trying to do what they're paid to do, and make it back home at night.
The last thing you ever want to do is say something stupid that may turn you into an accidental criminal. So, once again, the best idea is to lawyer up and shut up (this is actually a term that one of my lawyer friends uses.)
What do I mean? Well, referring back to our story, he thought he was going to walk in on several assailants because he thought he heard several sets of footsteps downstairs. Of course this was wrong because, as we found out, there was only one guy in his house.
So, what does all this mean?
It means that when you're involved in an incident like this, what you believe to be true, may actually be false. When your body is under a tremendous amount of stress, your senses are so alert that they can focus very well, but only on a little at a time. Your eyes develop tunnel vision, and the peripherals don't work as well.
This is important because you may have thought that you saw something when you really didn't. And, if you say the wrong thing to the police, they could use that against you in court.
No matter how hard the police try to get you to say something, and no matter how tempted you may be to oblige, don't do it. You could be opening up a can of worms that may hurt you later on down the road should the victim's family decide to take you to court.
And you know what? The 5th Amendment provides you the right to not incriminate yourself. In fact, it's always a good idea to familiarize yourself with current state and federal laws so you're up to date.
Anyway, the guy in our story really screwed himself over because he gave the entire story, from start to finish. And then, after he found out that it was his neighbor who just accidentally walked into the wrong house, he said that it was an accident, and that he didn't mean to shoot him.
Guess who is going to have an uphill struggle in court now that his defense is thrown out the window? He can no longer say that he was acting in self-defense. First, the guy was in the refrigerator facing away from our dude, and then he made the confession that the whole thing was an accident and that he didn't mean to shoot.
So, hopefully we all learned something from this three part series. You fight how you train, and you can't win a fight if you don't train. Also, keep your mouth shut until you've spoken to your lawyer first. Because, after all, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Finally, make sure you know the laws in your own home state because the law you don't know, could screw you.
Please note that while I work some brilliant attorneys, I'm not quite smart enough to sit through the bar exam, myself. So, therefore, I'm not a lawyer. Having said that, take what yousee here with a grain of salt until you consult an attorney from your homestate as the laws may vary.
Check back Thursday for the third and final installment of “Home Invasion Defense: What Would You Do?” to see what Mr. Smith should have done. In the meantime, share your thoughts in the comments below!