What Happens When I Call 9-1-1?

Any time there’s an incident involving a firearm or any other weapon, it’s a good idea to call 9-1-1, according to Weston Ray, a lawyer with Walker & Byington and an Independent Program Attorney for Texas Law Shield. Ray says that when you make the 9-1-1 call, report that the incident occurred, and hang up. Then call the emergency hotline for Texas Law Shield.

“Any time there’s an incident that involves defending yourself with a firearm or any other weapon, it’s a good idea to call 911,” Ray says. “If the situation involves the use of deadly force, it’s important to make sure that the risk no longer poses any threat to you or your family before you call.”

Ray points out that your call will be sent to an Emergency Dispatch Center. The operator or dispatcher will ask you a series of questions in order to assist the police, fire department, and/or ambulance services that respond to the emergency. The Dispatch Center might also ask you if there were any weapons involved and the details of what happened.

Ray said, “It is vital to give them the right information to respond to the emergency, but don’t give them any details of what happened. These statements are recorded, and anything you say can be used against you if you are arrested or charged with a crime. Once you get off the phone, call the Emergency hotline, and your independent program attorney can guide you through the process. The key is to keep it short.”

Once you’ve given the vital information, get off the phone, Ray advises.

“Even though it’s not polite, you’re not legally obligated to stay on the line,” Ray says, “and doing so can be detrimental to your legal defense. Even if a bad situation cools down without an incident, it’s important to remember that the other person or even a witness could call the police.”

If that situation does happen, you want to put your firearm somewhere safe and be ready to cooperate with law enforcement when they do arrive, he advises.

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