or the rest of our Realities of Concealed Carry series, go here. If you’re going to carry concealed, you need to approach your decisions and strategy as if your life depends on it. Actually, it does. But here’s something that may not be as obvious. If someone attacks you and you kill them in the process of defending your life, you’ve technically committed a homicide, until a court decides otherwise—and it's a distinct possibility that you could spend the rest of your life in prison as a result. You? A murderer? Yes. The law is straightforward on this. The reason that those who kill during the act of self-defense don’t always go to jail is that, under stringent circumstances, the act of murder can be deemed justified and excusable, just as there are degrees of murder charges and distinctions made between homicide and manslaughter. If you're being super technical about it, this is also the case when a police officer kills someone in the line of duty—it's considered a homicide and the officer involved is almost always put on paid leave until a hearing can be held to decide if the shooting was justifiable and in line with department policy. DISCLAIMER: This is not a standard meaningless disclaimer - it's serious. I am not an attorney and cannot provide legal advice. Like you, I am a responsibly armed citizen striving to follow the law and understand it to the best of my ability. Under no circumstances should you use anything in this article as legal guidance. Only your attorney can provide that service. We are simply presenting concepts here for you to consider, think about, and research on your own or better yet, in conjunction with your lawyer. Everything here is discussed for the sole purpose of helping to illustrate the seriousness of deciding to protect yourself and your family with a firearm. It’s up to you to understand and apply the laws of your locality, state, and country. Fair enough? With that said, let’s dive in and discuss some legal concepts that might just save your life.