Evidence at Shooting Scene
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Thread: Evidence at Shooting Scene

  1. Evidence at Shooting Scene

    Here's a scenario -- BG attacks me, I do a legal self defense shoot. Then before the cops arrive I take pictures of my bruises and the BG's machete (being careful not to move anything, give the disk to my wife and tell her to put it in her purse so I can give them to the lawyer before we give it to the DA. Or it may be a tape recording I take away.

    Am I in trouble for concealing evidence? Could they search my wife? If she put it in the car could they search that w/o permission? What if my wife takes it back to the house and stores the disk there? I assume they will need a warrant to look for it, even if they suspect it's there. Or is this something they can come into the house for without a warrant?

    Just trying to protect myself against cops who incompetently or maliciously lose the evidence ...

  2.   
  3. #2
    Join Date
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    First, there's no concealing evidence unless there's A) a duty to disclose, i.e., you just axe murdered a bunch of people... and then hid the axe. You defended yourself and take away nothing but COPIES of INFORMATION in the form of photos and verbally recorded affidavits. It's all still there, undisturbed for the authorities to collect copies of all over again, nothing concealled.

    B) the police know about it or would reasonably be expected to uncover it, i.e., if you just defended yourself with a firearm and your wife takes said firearm away from the scene. It's a fait accompli that the police would know there was a firearm owned by you involved when you claim self defense. Then you've concealled evidence of a crime. The crime being the attack upon you by the decedent. If the police do not, and cannot know of your photographs or tape recorded affidavit, then there's no concealment.

    C) if they ask for it and you don't produce it, i.e., you turned the evidence over to your wife. Your wife turned it over to your attorney. You're attorney refuses to turn it over to the DA, then your attorney would be guilty of concealling evidence because the police know about, asked for it, and you ... they didn't pony it up.

    Now, if there was evidence like GSR on the decedent's shirt, which you removed by laundering it at the laundromat around the corner (love those response times) before putting it back on the corpse, then, again, you've concealled evidence because the crime lab would reasonably be expected to detect it if it were left there, even if there would be next to no way, in this outlandish example, for them to detect the concealment, assuming the shirt was thick enough that the flesh was not stippled underneath.
    When they "Nudge. Shove. Shoot.",
    Don't retreat. Just reload.

  4. #3
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    Hey Joe: Let me get this straight--you just got done shooting someone and maybe killing them in the process and you are thinking about taking pictures and videos and wondering what the LEOs will think. I sure hope this thread is just one of those random thoughts we all have when we are sitting around at 5PM with a martini and "thinkin about things" thrown out there for discussion.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by kelcarry View Post
    Hey Joe: Let me get this straight--you just got done shooting someone and maybe killing them in the process and you are thinking about taking pictures and videos and wondering what the LEOs will think. I sure hope this thread is just one of those random thoughts we all have when we are sitting around at 5PM with a martini and "thinkin about things" thrown out there for discussion.
    Sounds like it. If you can do it, it would be an excellent idea to write down exactly what happened as you remember it, but don't turn it over to the police. Sometimes when we calm down we remember things that we didn't right after the incident. Anything you can do to document what happened is an excellent idea as memories get short sometimes and the police ain't perfect.

  6. #5
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    just edit out the part where you yell "action" and "cut"

  7. Thanks for the comments. Next question: everyone says never ever talk to LEOs without your lawyer. But does this apply in a self-defense shoot. I'd have no problem if the BG had, say broken into my house at night and had fired a gun at me. But in a situation where he's dead and one of the buddies he had with him is liable to say that I attacked him first, or whatever.

    I ask because in a lot of the news stories where the shooter was not charged, he did go down and talked to the police for a couple of hours. Call me paranoid -- too many other cases where the cops either don't get it right or are otherwise incompetent.

  8. #7
    wolfhunter Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by joemendoza View Post
    Thanks for the comments. Next question: everyone says never ever talk to LEOs without your lawyer. But does this apply in a self-defense shoot. I'd have no problem if the BG had, say broken into my house at night and had fired a gun at me. But in a situation where he's dead and one of the buddies he had with him is liable to say that I attacked him first, or whatever.

    I ask because in a lot of the news stories where the shooter was not charged, he did go down and talked to the police for a couple of hours. Call me paranoid -- too many other cases where the cops either don't get it right or are otherwise incompetent.
    Ever heard the phrase "Anything you say can and will be used against you"? While you may have been justified in your actions, an adrenaline- or shock-driven comment may not come out as what you MEANT to say. Cooperate with the LEOs, but save any but the most basic statements for when you've had a chance to gather your thoughts and your lawyer.

  9. #8
    When in doubt, call a lawyer.

  10. I'm not a lawyer but I can guarantee you the detectives are gonna take pictures to give to the prosecutor. Nothing wrong with having your own evidence. Remember the cops work for and are paid by the state - the prosecutor. They aren't there to collect evidence to defend you. That's the public defender or your attorneys job.

    I carry my phone all the time and you can bet if I am involved in a SD situation I'm going to take all the photos I can and upload them to photobucket with my phone. So there will be no photos for me to "hand over".

    Of course, you'd never want to tamper with any of the evidence, but photos aren't tampering so long as you are just photographing and don't touch anything.

    I really wouldn't care what the cops thought of my photos. I'm just documenting the incident.

    And if the cops wanted copies of the photos I took, I would act on the advice of my attorney.



    The alternative???? Sitting in a cell with some guy who thinks I'm cute, wishing I'd taken photos to assist in my defense.

  11. This is why you don't talk to the police... you talk to a lawyer:

    speak to a lawyer link

    "I was afraid for my life. I want to speak to my lawyer." And now, thanks to the Supremes, you also say "I wish to talk to my lawyer and I wish to remain silent until I do." After they read the Miranda card to you.

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