In the US, 48% of gun owners have stated that they own firearms for protection. Female gun owners say they use guns to defend themselves from abuse, which approximately reaches 200,000 times a year. The use of firearms for self-defense is indeed common, but shooting someone can be a legal problem even if it is within your property.
What are the things you should consider when a trespasser enters your home? If you live in Provo, Utah, a criminal defense lawyer gives you the following advice after a self-defense shooting incident.
Right after the incident, it’s important for you to check if there are any other threats. Check if the trespasser still holds a weapon, and disarm them immediately. Make sure that you don’t approach the suspect or move the evidence. You also need to check yourself for any injuries and try to address that as well. If you have been shot, put a tourniquet over the wound and keep pressure to prevent serious bleeding.
Call 911 immediately and inform the officer on the line of the situation, especially if someone has been shot or hurt, whether it’s you or the trespasser. Relay the correct information and request medical aid for you and anyone else. If you are unsure if there are still possible threats in your home, you should also request police assistance.
You should also describe what you’re wearing to help the authorities identify you once the police officers arrive. Be sure to holster your weapon to avoid confusion or any unfortunate event that may occur.
Stay in the Scene
It’s important that you stay in the area where it happened unless you feel like you’re in danger or there are still threats nearby. It would be very tempting to leave the scene and seek comfort from friends or family, but fleeing could put you in a questionable situation.
Stay in the area, meet the first responders, and if there are other wounded people, make sure you give them the essential first aid they need.
Consult a Lawyer
When the police arrive, make sure that you’re respectful and try to cooperate as much as possible. Provide them with your name and answer their questions truthfully. Consult an attorney about your rights and what potential cases the trespasser can file against you.
Serious injury and death could make you liable for damages, but it all depends on the intent of the trespasser. If the intention was to commit a crime on your property, you might not need to pay any kind of damage. But if the trespasser damaged your property or caused you physical harm, they might be required to pay you damages.
Any shooting incident on your property is a serious situation. The bottom line is that you should keep yourself calm, coordinate with the police, and heed the advice of your lawyer. But even if you do end up in police custody, you should not worry. As long as you have a good defense law firm on your side, all you have to do is to listen to your lawyer’s advice.