If you’re ever involved in a self-defense incident, you need to know what to say during your 911 call. In this week’s “Ask an Attorney” video, criminal defense attorney Tom Grieve answers this frequently asked question from responsible gun owners: “What am I supposed to say on my call to 911 if I’m ever involved in a self-defense incident with my gun?”

What Am I Supposed to Tell the 911 Operator If I’m Ever Involved in a Self-Defense Shooting?

As a former state prosecutor, Tom knows what a huge impact a 911 call recording can have on a criminal case.

In this week’s video, Tom highlights a few factors to consider during your 911 call. Bad information during a 911 call recording can negatively impact any potential self-defense case. Some of the top tips from this week’s video are:

  1. Identify yourself clearly as the victim of an attack.
  2. Clearly communicate who the person was that attacked you, where he or she fled to and if he or she is armed with any weapon, such as a firearm.
  3. Follow all police instructions when they arrive on the scene, as it is critical for you to survive that next encounter.
  4. Point out any major pieces of evidence that the police need to be aware of, such as the weapon the attacker used that forced you to act in self-defense.

Can the 911 Call I Make After a Self-Defense Incident Really Make or Break My Case?

As a responsible gun owner, you may have thought about — and even had discussions at your local gun range about — calling 911. Maybe you’ve asked, “Could the 911 call I make immediately following a justified self-defense incident really land me in jail?” In this video, Tom answers this question quite simply: “Yes, it can.”

When you make your call to 911, you are not only talking to the operator but also talking to the jury, judge, prosecutor, police officers, media and more. Every 911 call is recorded. Thus, the most important thing to take from this video is that what you say could truly be the difference between walking free or ending up behind bars.

Your first call after a self-defense incident should be to 911. Be the first to report the incident and make sure help is on the way. USCCA Members have a second call to make: the USCCA Critical Response Team. The CRT provides the support you need after the self-defensive use of ANY legal weapon.

About Tom Grieve, Grieve Law

Tom Grieve is a highly awarded former Wisconsin state prosecutor who started Grieve Law, LLC — now one of the largest criminal defense firms in Wisconsin. He is respected as one of the top criminal defense lawyers in the state and has developed a nuanced understanding of Wisconsin firearms laws throughout his years of experience. Although Tom’s legal background speaks for itself, he has gone above and beyond the call of duty, receiving his certification as a firearms instructor, participating as a regular speaker and panelist with the USCCA for live broadcasts, training videos and national expos, and even serving as a speaker and analyst on numerous radio stations, television stations and both college and law school campuses.