IANAL: Talking to Law Enforcement After a Shooting

The conventional wisdom on the Internet says that, if you ever have to use lethal force to defend yourself, the best response to the police is to say nothing. “Tell them, ‘I refuse to answer any questions without my lawyer present’ and then shut up,” the Internet tells us. Or, sometimes people advise us to say “I was in fear for my life” and then shut up. But is this really the best course of action after a shooting?

The “shut your mouth and say nothing” advice is driven primarily by the belief that (a) you might say something in the heat of emotion that could later be misconstrued as incriminating, and (b) that the police are looking for a reason to arrest you. The first is very likely true; the second not necessarily so.

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