What Happens After the Police Arrive at Your Burgled Home?
You called 911 and waited for the police. If you were in the house, you may have defended your loved ones. The case gets complicated if you injured your attacker. The police do not know who you are. Their primary responsibility is to stop the action. Then they will render the scene safe or remove anyone who may get hurt in an unsafe scene.
Here are some questions to consider: (read “What Do I say in a 911 Call?”)
What was stolen? You know that list you always wanted to write.
Was anyone hurt? Emotional hurt does not count right now.
Is the property safe?
Can you prove who you are?
Do not get chatty with the police. Try this approach when they arrive:
They broke into my home
I was afraid for my life and the life of my family
They attacked me
I warned them
I’ll sign a complaint
There is the evidence
I need to talk to my lawyer
I do not consent to any search
This will get you the help you need and postpones most questions until your attorney can help. You must remember that what you say can and will be used against you in court. You can’t undo the flip statement like “I hope he’s dead”.
Do not use your cordless phone from your night stand. Put your cell phone on speaker. You may be too busy to have a conversation with the 911 operator, but they will record the event and it is evidence. Expect the police to want information. They will usually go through the 911 operator to identify what you are wearing and where you are in your home. Once this is established, they will have the operator relay that the scene is secure and that you should come out of your safe room with your hands visible. Do not respond to anyone banging on the door to the safe area. Go only through the operator unless the operator relays the name and badge number of the responding officer. Then you can work with them. The police do not want to open the door to the safe area and confront the mama and papa bear.
You will be detained. You will either be arrested or at least held until the police can sort things out. Do not be surprised by handcuffs. The police will try to gain control of the situation and need to figure who the bad guys are (we don’t wear nametags on our pajamas).
Remember: You have the right to defend yourself. You also have the right to remain silent. Practice the latter skill.
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