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Understanding Florida’s Stand Your Ground law

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2020 | Criminal Defense

Over the last few years, Florida’s Stand Your Ground law has been the source of much controversy and discussion. You’ve probably seen the news coverage of instances that involved a shooting or an instance that pertained to the concept of self-defense. If you live in Florida, it’s in your interests to know what this law could mean for you.

This law pertains to how and when a person can fight back against perceived threats. Essentially, the law permits the use of force against another if that person is threatening harm. There is often a lot of discussion about whether a person had reasonable justification to use deadly force against another. These cases are remarkably complex because it often seems like one person’s word against another person’s word.

What does it mean?

Essentially, the Stand Your Ground law means that homicide is justifiable in very specific circumstances. The legislation permits the use of deadly force in cases where the person believes he or she will suffer imminent harm without protection. As you can imagine, cases involving this legislation are complex, and both sides will have sharp opinions about whether the use of deadly force was necessary under the circumstances. 

This law only applies in situations where there is clear reason to believe that deadly force was necessary. It does not apply to situations where a police officer is fulfilling his or her duties. It is also not applicable in cases where the other party was provoked or attempted to remove himself or herself from the situation.

Should you try to flee?

In many states, a person must first prove he or she made a reasonable attempt to leave the situation before applying deadly force in a threatening situation. However, that does not apply in Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. If there is a genuine threat of harm, a person does not have to try and flee before fighting back.

Your rights and defense

If you find yourself in a situation where you felt compelled to apply deadly force for your own protection, you would be wise to seek the counsel of an experienced defense attorney. These are complex cases, and there is a lot at stake for you. Even if you believe your actions were justified, there is significant benefit in working with a legal ally who can protect your rights and interests in case there are questions or concerns regarding what happened.