Using deadly force - After the bang

After the Bang – What to do After Using Deadly Force

What to do After Using Deadly Force

Our website contains many articles on what to do prior to the use of force. These explain what weapons may be carried in Florida, when you are allowed to use force, how to store your firearms, and many other topics. We will now discuss what you should do after you have had to use deadly force. We commonly refer to this as “after the bang.” It is important to keep in mind that the use of deadly force is likely to be one of the most traumatic moments of your life, and it is very unlikely you will be thinking completely straight. For this reason, you should have a plan for what you will do after a self-defense incident involving deadly force has occurred.

Speaking to the Police After Using Deadly Force

After using deadly force, one of the first things you should do is contact the police. If a witness saw your use of deadly force, or your attacker survived and fled, it is very likely they will call the police. These calls will frame how the police respond to the situation and to you. You can be certain that your attacker will tell a very different story about what happened than you do. Even if you are in your home, you should contact the police immediately. Also, if someone has been shot, ask for medical assistance to be sent immediately. If your delay to contact the police results in a death due to a delay in getting someone, even your attacker, medical treatment, it can be used against you.

Calling 911 after the bang

It is essential that you have a plan when talking to the police. You need to prepare both for your initial call to 911, and for any police interactions you have when the police show up. Your initial call to the police does not need to be extensive. While situations may call for different responses, we generally recommend that you prepare to make a phone call following this outline:

  • “I am the victim of a crime and I need help”
  • Advise the police if anyone is injured, even if they have fled
    • If the attacker fled, advise the police of their description and the direction they went.
  • Tell the police where you are located and where the crime occurred if different than your current location.
  • Do NOT provide specific details.
  • Hang up and call your attorney.

When the police arrive after the bang

Remember, when the police arrive, they are not there to be your advocate. They are there to respond to an emergency, restore order, identify threats, and collect evidence. By the time the police arrive, you should separate yourself from your weapon. By this time, you should have spoken to your attorney. U.S. Law Shield members are able to contact an attorney directly on the 24/7 attorney answered hotline at any time using the emergency phone number provided to members. Your attorney will advise you what, if anything, you should say to the police. It is your decision whether or not to speak to the police. Generally, it is wise to tell the police that you will be happy to comply with their investigation, but you want an attorney present, and that you are going to remain silent until you have an attorney with you.

Will I be Arrested After Using Deadly Force?

Unfortunately, when the police arrive to a scene where deadly force was used, they will have no way of being certain of what happened. While Florida’s immunity law limits police discretion in arresting those who use apparently lawful self-defense. However, if the police find that there is probable cause to believe that force was used unlawfully, they will still arrest you. See Fla. Stat. § 776.032. If this happens, do not try to resist. Comply with the police, but do not make any statements or answer any questions. Tell the police that you want to talk to your attorney.

For more information about what to do after using deadly force, watch our free webinar on the Aftermath of Self-Defense which includes an expanded after the bang segment.


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