Ask an Attorney: After you're out of custody

This is a great video about what happens after you’re out of custody. @Tom_Grieve and @KevinM touch on some facets of the post-incident interactions with the police that we don’t always think about.

What surprised you the most in the video?

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Five to Seven Months and maybe longer!

Wow I really didn’t think it would be that long of a process. I understand why after Tom explained it but I guess I have seen way to many episodes of Perry Mason.

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I’m surprised they didn’t cover what I consider to be perhaps the most obvious and important things you can do between being released and then end of the process.

Be an absolute saint, don’t even risk a speeding ticket or turn signal violation and keep your mouth shut. Don’t discuss the details of your case other than perhaps to reassure your own family that things are going to be ok, and of course your atty.

In this day and age you should avoid all social media either reading or participating.

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And DON’T GIVE INTERVIEWS TO ANYONE FOR ANY REASON!!! Not even to rebut errors or lies told by others. The media is not your friend.

Regards.

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Definitely, that comes under the heading of keeping your mouth shut.

I probably should add that even if they think they can help you should probably encourage your friends and family to keep silent as well.

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Agreed, only I’d say “demand”.

Regards

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Unfortunately we have no control over the actions of others so I think “demand” is a bit strong here.

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Never open a negotiation with your compromise position. I’d open with “demand” and might be willing to settle for “encourage” as my bottom line.

While we may not have actual control over the actions of others, we certainly can exert a great deal of influence over their actions and decision making. The closer the relationship, the greater the influence, to a point approaching control in some cases. Never underestimate the power of charisma, especially when applied in concert with another person’s desire to please. To some this may seem cold and/or manipulative, but in the aftermath of a shooting incident we’re playing for high stakes.

I’m not advising anyone to act in this way, particularly towards loved ones, but awareness of how this dynamic works can help you see through it when used in your direction.

If, after a self-defense incident, you are being investigated by law enforcement, as a law abiding citizen you will probably feel some level of desire to “please” the police. That is, to convince them that you are, in fact, a law abiding citizen, you gave your assailant every chance to stop and walk away, you used your weapon only as a last resort, and your used only the amount of force required to end the attack. In other words, you acted in the way (you believe) that a LEO would have acted in a similar circumstance. A savvy detective will use this “desire to please” against you. It’s a basic interrogation technique.

All this to say “Keep your wits about you”, and do everything you can to have others keep thier wits about them as well.

Regards.

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