What we have learned after years of cumulative experience defending thousands of people has led to some critical tips for any 911 call regarding self-defense. Here are 5 must know tips before you call 911.
First, if you use or display your gun, call 911. Do not discuss what happened with the operator.
Second, only give the operator information that is needed for them to send help:
- Your name and that you are the victim of a crime;
- The location of your emergency;
- What services are needed (police, EMS, or fire);
- A general description of what you are wearing to avoid any confusion by police when they arrive (i.e., you are a six-foot-tall male wearing a green jacket and brown pants);
- Essential logistical information you may need to convey (i.e., you have the intruder held at gunpoint in your living room—please don’t accidentally shoot me, the homeowner), but as little as you can.
Third, every 911 call is recorded and can be used as evidence against you. Do not use words like “killed” when speaking about the incident to the 911 operator.
Fourth, 911 operators are trained to keep you on the phone talking about the situation; however, you are not required to stay on the line. Once you complete your phone call, hang up, and ignore the 911 operator’s attempts to call you back.
Fifth, do not waive your rights—you may need them.