February 9, 2024 | Criminal Defense
Home invasions can trigger intense fear and an instinctual need to protect oneself. In such situations, the controversial topic of using lethal force in self-defense often arises. If you ever find yourself in this frightening situation, it’s critical to understand the local laws regarding the use of force in your own home and when a criminal defense lawyer might be needed.
Indiana’s Stand Your Ground Law
Indiana implements a Stand Your Ground Law, governing scenarios in which it’s necessary to protect yourself in your house. According to this law, a person is justified in using reasonable force – even including lethal force – if it’s necessary to prevent another person from unlawfully entering or attacking their home. When in your home, there is no duty to retreat before using deadly force.
What this means is that if you use deadly force against someone who breaks into your home, you shouldn’t be prosecuted and convicted of a crime. However, what’s “supposed to happen” doesn’t always end up happening. For this reason, it’s essential to contact a criminal defense lawyer right away if you use lethal force against someone in your home.
Why It’s Important to Hire a Lawyer After Using Lethal Force to Protect Your Home
The aftermath of an incident involving lethal force is complicated and emotionally taxing. In such situations, having legal representation can be critical, even if you feel your actions were justified under the law. Here’s why:
The Police May Not Believe You
If the police remain skeptical about your version of the events, you might still face arrest and trial. A lawyer can help present supporting evidence to prove that you acted in self-defense. In the best case, this could lead to charges being dropped. Alternatively, it could end up as a not-guilty verdict at trial if it gets that far.
Investigation and Evidence Handling
Criminal defense attorneys can conduct an independent investigation to gather crucial evidence supporting your case while contesting any negative or misleading statements or evidence presented by the prosecution.
Understanding Potential Consequences
If you do end up being arrested and facing charges, a lawyer can explain the potential penalties that come with the offense. This could include prison time and significant fines. While this is a frightening thought, it’s essential to truly understand what you’re facing and to take these situations very seriously.
Hiring a lawyer if you’ve resorted to using lethal force in home defense can make a considerable difference. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help.
Immediate Steps to Take After Using Lethal Force in Your Home
If you must take a drastic measure when defending yourself, understanding how to respond immediately following the incident is essential for dealing with any legal complications and handling potential emotional turmoil. Here’s what needs to be done:
Call Emergency Services
Once it’s safe, the first thing you should do is call 911. Let them know that there has been a shooting at your location and request law enforcement as well as medical assistance.
Secure the Firearm
You must then secure the firearm in a safe manner and ensure it is not on your person when law enforcement arrives. This reduces any possible perception of threat.
Cooperate with Law Enforcement
Upon their arrival, you should cooperate fully with the officers present – showing them where both the attacker’s body and firearm are positioned.
Preserve the Scene
Try not to disturb the scene more than necessary – treat it as the active crime scene that it now is. The scene will be crucial evidence in any potential criminal case or independent investigation arising from this incident.
Avoid Detailed Statements Initially
Although cooperation is key, it’s best to avoid providing detailed statements about the incident until you’ve spoken with your attorney. This protects your rights and allows for a measured response under the guidance of legal counsel.
Document and Record the Scene
Try to record video or take pictures of the exact state of the scene after the incident occurred but before it gets altered or cleaned. This can be valuable for constructing your legal defense.
Seek Legal Representation
Regardless of how clear-cut your self-defense case may seem, law enforcement and courts might not initially see it the same way. Thus, it is crucial to get a criminal defense lawyer involved.
Find Emotional Support
Experiencing a traumatic incident, such as using lethal force in self-defense, can have profound emotional implications. These feelings of fear, guilt, or anxiety are entirely normal under these circumstances. Therefore, seeking professional emotional support should be prioritized to help you process your emotions and reactions following this event.
Contact an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorney If You Shot Someone Who Broke Into Your Home
Taking all of these steps is crucial to ensure you are protecting yourself and your future. For help, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer.
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Indianapolis
101 W Ohio St #2000
Indianapolis, In 46204