When he was faced with a credible threat, he did what he’d trained to do: used his firearm to defend not only his life but also the life of his girlfriend. Little did he know, he’d be the one behind bars before the night was through. This is one U.S. LawShield® member’s story of how he lawfully defended himself and could have lost his freedom were it not for his attorney’s help.
This is an account of a real-life story that happened to a law-abiding gun owner who is also protected by U.S. LawShield. To protect the identity of the innocent, we are not including the names, dates, or locations in this story. The self-defender, who we will call Luke in this article, is one of more than 700,000 members that U.S. LawShield protects diligently every day. This story is meant to highlight what could happen to anyone who ever has to defend themselves or their loved ones, and it is intended for educational purposes only.
How It Began
The day Luke needed his Legal Defense for Self Defense® coverage most, there was a loud party taking place at his apartment complex. Luke witnessed a group of kids at the party repeatedly running their bikes into parked vehicles. Concerned about damage to his car, Luke ventured downstairs with his girlfriend to move his car to a more distant parking space. Luke had barely reached his car when a man from the party approached him. Although our member had not planned to say anything about his car being run into by the kids on their bikes, when the man questioned him, Luke responded by politely requesting that the kids ride their bikes away from the parked cars. The stranger immediately became confrontational—cursing, yelling, and attempting to goad Luke into a fight. Knowing it was wise to simply walk away, Luke did just that, heading for the stairs leading back to his own apartment. The confrontational stranger blocked the stairs for a moment, continuing his verbal threats, but finally stepped aside to allow Luke and his girlfriend to pass.
As they reached the top, however, the man charged up the stairs after them.
Under different circumstances, Luke would have lunged inside his apartment and locked the door. But his girlfriend was several steps behind him, and he refused to abandon her to the imminent threat of an attacker running at them. Luke owned a firearm for self-defense, but it wasn’t on him; his gun was sitting just inside his apartment door, where he left it in reach while he was at home. Believing he had no choice but to defend himself and his girlfriend against an imminent attack, he quickly retrieved his personal defense weapon.
Upon realizing the couple might not be the easy targets he wanted, the threatening man backed off and returned to the party. Luke knew the incident needed to be reported to local law enforcement, so he did his duty and called the police department.
Law Enforcement Involvement After the Call
When law enforcement arrived, they did not spend much time talking to Luke, but they did spend a significant amount of time talking to the man from the party. In fact, Luke said the officers spent hours with the man downstairs but only minutes with him, despite the fact he was the one who reported the incident. Apparently unsure of how to proceed, the officers on scene decided to talk to their supervisor.
In the end it was Luke who was arrested, much to his shock. He does not remember being Mirandized by the arresting officers, and later said they were vague about the reason he was being arrested. Dumbfounded by this twist in events, he forgot to call his U.S. LawShield attorney.
Luke ended up being held for most of the night before bail was eventually set at zero, which allowed him to go home. It wasn’t until after he returned home and spoke to his girlfriend that he decided to call U.S. LawShield. He was immediately put in touch with an Independent Program Attorney who began working on his case.
The Need for Legal Defense for Self Defense
Luke’s attorney summarized the events: “In this case, the client felt that both he and his girlfriend were being intimidated, and he had concerns for their safety. Having a weapon in the home may have prevented an assault. But the police made a quick decision to arrest without knowing all the facts. It is sometimes very helpful to have an attorney contact a prosecutor to give the prosecutor the correct version of the events and to possibly stop the filing of a criminal complaint. Once a complaint is filed, it is much harder to get a dismissal.”
With a qualified attorney on his side, Luke was able to relax somewhat, knowing a professional had the situation well in hand. His U.S. LawShield Independent Program Attorney discovered Luke had been arrested that night for brandishing a weapon in a rude or angry manner (a misdemeanor). Interestingly, the district attorney had not charged the case. It would take four months from the day of the incident before his arraignment, and on that day, Luke attended court with his attorney to discover the case had been rejected for filing.
This sounds like a happy ending, but it wasn’t over yet. Days after being threatened by the man from the party, Luke received an automatic email revoking his concealed carry permit. He lives in a state where gun rights are more restricted than many places, and he has found it difficult to restore his right to carry. Although he was never even charged by the district attorney, the State revoked his carry permit instantly.
The Race to the Phone
If you are involved in a self-defense incident, you must win the race to the phone. This is something Luke learned and said he will never fail to do again; he did the correct thing by calling law enforcement right away but failed to call U.S. LawShield immediately after that. We are here to help, but we cannot help if you do not alert us to the situation. Now that it’s over, Luke states he wishes he had called as soon as he and his girlfriend were safely inside their apartment, but he is relieved it ended well from a criminal standpoint once he did contact us.
When asked what advice he would pass on to other members, Luke said that aside from making sure to call without hesitation, he would suggest maintaining coverage and keeping the member card in your wallet. Easy access to the information needed to contact an attorney is valuable, and Luke now keeps the card with him at all times. The other piece of advice he offers is the need to keep your firearm holstered on your body, not out of reach. You never know when you’ll need it.
Whether Luke will be able to have his right to carry restored to him in his state remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: U.S. LawShield is always working for him, providing Legal Defense for Self Defense when it matters most.
This member account is for educational purposes only and should not be confused with legal advice. To have an experienced self-defense lawyer on your side when it matters most, take a closer look at U.S. LawShield.
The information provided in this publication is intended to provide general information to individuals and is not legal advice. The information included in this publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication without the prior written consent of U.S. LawShield, to be given or withheld at our discretion. The information is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. We strive to ensure the information included in this publication is accurate and current, however, no claim is made to the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of information in this publication. The use of this publication does not create an attorney-client relationship between U.S. LawShield, any independent program attorney, and any individual.
Thank you for telling this story Law shield! It takes a lot of work and awareness to stay out of jail when you’re a gun owner these days. This is a great example.
Proud member since ‘13
Peter, thanks for being a loyal member!
I don’t believe it’s legal to have a laser site that will just give them a reason to say that you had help in using your firearm to shoot to protect your self they might us that against you in court if it came to that . They always want to ask what did you try to prevent this before you aimed your laser at the threat that was in front of you . That’s what I think it’s a touchy question
I am a Law Shield member, I have a question, I will soon be 80 yrs old and have not the best eye sight, but still target shoot. I am carrying a handgun that has a red laser on it, so that if I do ever have to use the gun, I will be less likely yo be off target; is it legal to carry a gun with a laser sighting devise on it?
Thomas, please call our non-emergency line at 1-877-448-6839 to discuss your question.
I don’t usually comment on internet stories, but I feel like this has left me confused as to why it was OK for Luke to resort to deadly force in this incident. I was always taught that a deadly weapon is a “force multiplier” or a tool used to level the playing field if an attacker presents his own deadly weapon, or in extreme circumstances where the victim could not possibly be expected to defend himself without a deadly weapon. An example of that would be an elderly person vs a 21 year old, or an average woman vs an average man. In those examples, the deadly weapon would level the playing field, and not be an escalation. In this instance, Luke created a disparity of force when he escalated to a deadly weapon against an unarmed man. In fact, a prosecutor might argue that the playing field was already in Luke’s favor since both he and his girlfriend were present (2 people vs 1). I believe in this instance he should have protected his girlfriend by fighting the attacker if necessary, with the goal of them both retreating to his domicile. If cornered in the domicile, he would at least be protected by the Castle Doctrine (if available in his state) if he ended up resorting to using deadly force due to not being able to retreat and determining that he would not be able to defeat the attacker and was about to receive great bodily harm. Can you comment on this?
I wish I knew about you guys before my incident and I am glad I have coverage now.
Thank God I live in Texas!
Is Us Law Shield actively working to have this mans carry rights restored?
Will US Law Shield be helping Luke get his carry permit restored?
This same thing happened to me. I was on the highway and a persistent road rager was trying to run me and my kids off the road. I did not antagonize the other person at all and just kept driving at the same speed hoping the attacker would leave us alone. I was boxed in the middle of traffic on the highway going high speed and had no way to get away from this attacker and there were no exits off the highway. The attacker was finally able to get next to me then stayed window to window. I though me and my kids were going to die and drew my pistol, hoping it would stop the attack. It did. Because the car was blacked out, with all badging removed, and he was so close to my bumper I couldn’t see the hood of his car, I was not able to get his plate. The windows were so tinted, I could not identify and features of the attacker.
because I had nothing to identify the car or person, and no one got hurt, I continued on to go have fun with my kids and moved on. The other guys took 30 min to get the story he wanted and made up a completely false story and called the police. I was arrested at gun point when me and my kids were leaving the store.
I am now facing multiple felony assault charges.
If you live in a liberal state, I can tell you first hand the police, and courts will be against you. the police questioned my kids without a parent present. My kids told the police multiple times someone was trying to run us off the road. The police interviewed the attacker for a long time and asked as many questions as possible to get the guy to say he was afraid. The police had zero interest that this guy was trying to run us off the road. They didn’t tell me what was going on when they arrested me, until they simple said I am charged with 2nd degree assault and terroristic threats, read me mirranda, and hauled me off to jail. Also be prepared for any video evidence to dissapear. The highway footage that would have showed this guy attacking us was gone after only five days and they kept me in jail for 4.5 days. Even though I have no priors, they set my bail at $100,000 or $40,000 with home confined house arrest. Of coarse I couldn’t afford the high bail so I have been on house arrest the past 5 months with an ankle bracelet. Your not allowed to leave your house except for medical appointments and 4 hours a week to get groceries and things you need to take care of kids. The courts will have no interest in your self defense if you did not call the police. Even then they probable will have no interest in your self defense unless you have lawyers and groups of people fighting for you.
Call the police as soon as you can, even if no one got hurt. If you have carry insurance, call them as soon as you can after processed into jail. If you think there was video of the event, have your lawyer get that before doing anything else because it will be gone soon. I would even say, call highway division, or businesses about getting video before you call any family. This is just as important as calling a lawyer right away.
NO – Do not wait to be processed. If you have drawn your weapon, used or not, call both 911, and call US Law Shield. Do everything you can to get ahead of the bad guy. You did nothing wrong, yet you are the one suffering.
My recommendation. You were under threat. Unless your girlfriend is a highly qualified MMA fighter (IOW – better equipped than you), you send her ahead with instructions to get to the apartment – fast. You follow as fast as possible without exposing her to attack. Get to a safe spot and call 911. In this case, since you would have then avoided armed confrontation, I would have given 911 the full story. You have walked away and attempted to avoid confrontation, and you want that on record.
I want to hear the story how US Law Shield helped Luke get his Concealed Carry Permit back. Keeping you out of jail is good, but helping you get your rights back after a self defense event or protecting your common sense rights to defend yourself without impunity is wonderful.