Every state has different laws regarding self-defense. Sections 776.012 and 776.013 of the Florida Statutes provide residents of the Sunshine State the right to use deadly force to defend their own lives. These particular laws are often colloquially called the “Stand Your Ground” law. There are some particulars to this statute, however, and it is important for residents to understand them.
You do not have to retreat from an attacker, and you can use deadly force against them, in a few different circumstances. First and foremost, the law requires that you must have reason to believe that not using deadly force would mean you or someone else would suffer from great bodily harm or death. You may also use force if someone is breaking into your house or the car you are in.
There are also circumstances in which this law does not apply. For instance, if the person you are defending yourself against is legally allowed to enter the residence and is not otherwise causing harm, deadly force may not be used. The Stand Your Ground defense is also voided if you are in the middle of a criminal act when you use deadly force. Likewise, if you instigated the violence against yourself, it is unlawful to use deadly force as self-defense.
There are many more nuances in the Stand Your Ground law. As such, it may be beneficial to contact a criminal law attorney if you have been arrested or otherwise have questions about using deadly force for self-defense.