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Posted on March 6, 2017 by in Uncategorized

CCW Safe’s Police Union Model: Part 2- Attorneys

The Critical Response Team we talked about in last week’s article is one of the biggest advantages of CCW Safe’s service vs others, but when it comes to financial advantages, Attorneys for criminal actions can present the single largest cost if you are involved in a self defense shooting. CCW Safe pays the entire cost, no limits, no caps, and no out of pocket expenses. With almost all other options you will be looking at anywhere between $10k to $125k in criminal defense coverage. Criminal actions are the most important factor to deal with, because they will most likely come first when talking about criminal, administrative, and civil actions, and they could have a major effect on whether civil action would be filed at all. If you are found guilty of criminal actions, or even take a plea bargain, then most, if not all other services and insurance coverages stop. If you are found guilty you will not receive any further help, which is not the mission of CCW Safe. CCW Safe continues paying for future actions even if you are found guilty. CCW Safe has assisted a member in the past where a plea meant no jail time and no record once the plea agreement was met. The member was later filed on civilly, which was also covered by CCW Safe.

I met with a new member to CCW Safe after he found out the hard way the true cost of a trial. Before having our coverage, he was charged after being involved in a self defense shooting, and ended up spending $750k on his trial. This was in small town America, not Dallas or Chicago. He won, but the source of funding for the trial was his retirement. He was one year away from retirement.


Once the Critical Response Team has responded to the members location, and has a chance to meet with the member and the member’s family, the National Trial Counsel, Don West, will locate our member local counsel. Don has been involved with high profile self defense cases, including the Zimmerman trial, and knows what to look for when selecting local counsel. He will make recommendations to our member, and if agreed, the attorneys will be hired. Generally, a self defense shooting that involves a death wehre charges are filed, will cost a minimum of $100k, and that will most likely only cover the pre trial. In a competitors video, their own attorney stated that he wouldn’t take a case involving a homicide for less than $100k.

Let’s take a minute and look at exactly what is covered, or better yet, what would not be covered in that $100k attorney fee. It would not cover investigators, expert witnesses, depositions, trial exhibits, jury consultants and any other related cost to a criminal trial, which we will talk about in upcoming articles. It would certainly not cover bond, which is what we will talk about next week. It would cover the attorneys time. A good defense attorney can bill $150-$300 per hour, and when the those hours are spent, then you will have to pay more to continue.

After being involved in a shooting, the last thing that you need to do is to try to find and hire a competent attorney or firm to defend you. This can be an exhaustive process, and there is no one more capable of making the selection as Don West, National Trial Counsel for CCW Safe. I would strongly trust Don’s recommendations if I found myself in that position again.

Here’s a few examples of what your out of pocket would be with some of the competitors plans based on hiring a criminal defense attorney for $100k:

  • $10k criminal attorney fee retainer- Second Call $9/month and Armed Citizens Network- These plans compared to CCW Safe would leave $90k out of pocket
    $50k criminal attorney fee retainer- Second Call $19/month, $39/month, USCCA $13/month or $149/year- These plans compared to CCW Safe would leave $50k out of pocket
    $75k criminal attorney fee waiver- USCCA $22/month or $247/year- These plans compared to CCW Safe would leave $25k out of pocket.
    $100k criminal attorney fee retainer- Second Call $49/month or $539/year- no out of pocket, however your coverage is exhausted at this time.
    $125k criminal attorney fee retainer- USCCA $30/month or $347/year- no out of pocket, however, at this point you would have only $25k remaining. Remember, this is only the first major expense when defending a self defense case.
    Unlimited Criminal Coverage- CCW Safe covers all attorneys fees, bail bonds of $250k ($1 million available), investigators, experts, depositions, documents, trial exhibits, trial consultants, etc.  Not only that, but CCW Safe also covers an appeal if neccessary.

Looking at the same numbers, based on a full trial case costing $200k, you see a quick jump in the numbers of out of pocket expenses ranging from $75k to $190k. As stated earlier, the real life actual cost in small town America cost one man $750k. A case costing even half of that would be a minimum of $200k out of pocket on any of the other plans, and could be as high as nearly $400k.  Everyone wants to focus on the civil side, where they all have unlimtited coverage.  Why is that, why do they offer unlimited coverage on civil but not criminal?  Because criminal defense will be your first major hurdle if you are involved in a self defense shooting and it can be very expensive.  Secondly, civil cases in citizen self defense cases rarely happen, and most people are judgement proof when you look at assets vs. debts.  Every self defense shooting will have a criminal investigation, and if the criminal side is protected well, then the civil side will be protected well too.  Furthermore, many states have Castle Doctrine and Self Defense Immunity laws that may protect you on the civil side.

Next week we will talk about bail coverage, and how that can drastically impact not only your out of pokcet, but also in selection and funding for your criminal defense attorney.





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Mike Darter


Mike was a police officer in Oklahoma City from 1991-2001, and a federal contractor for the DOJ from 2001-2011. During his carrer, Mike investigated and testified in hundreds of violent crimes, including shootings, homicides, and other violent felony crimes. Mike was involved in a shooting as a police officer and went through a lawsuit from that shooting. The lawsuit was later dismissed, but his experience is what led to the creation of CCW Safe.