Self Defense Legal Coverage: What To Look For?
We’re often asked, “Why should I get your service”, or “How are you different from the competition?”. One of the common responses that you would get if you asked this or a similar question, would be “We believe that you should do your own research on that, and make your own decision.” We’ll happily tell you what we do, and what our coverage is, but the competition changes so much that as a consumer, you need to do your own research.
The problem with that is, many people don’t actually know what they should research, and what is more important in terms of coverage. So, we are going to break down, what we feel like, are the most important factors of coverage if you are involved in a self defense shooting or deadly use of force.
Experience and response are the first things that you really need to look at and have a good understanding of if you are forced to use deadly force in self defense.
First off, you want to look at the experience they have in the following areas.
- Criminal Investigations: Do they have any experience in investigating violent crimes, and more specifically, shootings that are self defense claims. This is important for various reasons, but primarily, you need to know what is going to happen next if you are involved in a self defense shooting, and you need to have someone who understands the complexity of these incidents from the angle of someone investigating the case.
- Legal Experience: Do they have legal experience in actually trying cases. This is the obvious one, but there aren’t very many criminal defense attorneys who have tried self defense cases, especially ones that have gained national attention.
- Actual shooting cases: Do they have any experience in actually being involved in a shooting, and one step farther, have they any experience in being sued civily from that? I personally have been involved in shootings, and have been sued in federal court due to a shooting I was involved in as a police officer.
- Actual membership defense: Have they represented members that have shot and killed another person in self defense. I can tell you that CCW Safe is the only company that has defended a member in a full, murder I, self defense trial. Successfully.
If they don’t have any proven experience in at least 2 or three of these areas, then you want to be careful that if you find yourself needing their services, they won’t be gaining their experience on you.
The response to a self defense shooting or use of deadly force is something else that you don’t want to be the one where experience is gained. most companies have a 24 hour emergency phone center, and most will get you to an attorney pretty quick, however, you want to be sure and look beyond that.
CCW Safe, for example, does have a 24 hour emergency line that will immediatley connect you with an attorney, but we are also going to respond to a self defense shooting where someone has been killed or critically injured, with an actual critical response team. This team is comprised of former homicide investigators, who have worked numerous shootings, including police officer involved shootings, and self defense shootings. They are going to have a good idea of the severity of the case, the evidence, and the people involved. They will have a good indication whether charges will be filed or not, and if so, some things to start looking for in terms of your defense.
Another part of the response team will be on the attorney side. Don West, who is our national trial counsel, or someone similar will be in response, and will begin looking for attorneys who would be good for your case. Many people want to know the attorneys before hand, but we hope that you are never involved in such a case, and if so, we have no control over when attorneys might take their vacation, or be too involved in another case to take yours on.
The legal part of the response team, like the investigators, will have a good indication of what the next steps will be, and what will likely be found based on evidence.
Whether you end up signing up with CCW Safe, or another company, or if you don’t go with any service at all, you want to be very careful when you give your full statement or interview. You will definitely want to have an attorney present with you during that time, and you should also make sure that you wait about 24 -48 hours before giving it and get some rest. Police officers aren’t even interviewed for that time in most cases, due to the physiological effects that you may encounter due to the critical stress of the incident itself.