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When do “stand your ground” laws apply?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Violence can happen anywhere. You never know when you could be in a situation where you must protect yourself, your loved ones or an innocent bystander.

Unfortunately, there is often a long time between when an incident starts and when other support can arrive to protect others. Knowing what you can do to protect yourself and others if you find yourself in a violent situation is essential.

Here’s what you should know about Florida’s stand your ground laws and what they can mean in a dangerous situation.

Understanding your circumstances

Stand your ground laws allow you to protect yourself if someone threatens you with violence. However, there are situations where stand your ground laws do not apply, such as:

  • Engaging in criminal activity
  • Defending against law enforcement
  • Provoking another party intentionally
  • Trespassing

More generally, stand your ground laws apply when you have a clear reason you are about to be a victim of serious violence.

An attempt to get away

In some states, there is a “duty to retreat.” In these states, you have an obligation to try to get away rather than use force against your attacker. In Florida, this is not the case.

Protecting others

There are times when you are not alone when someone threatens violence. You may have a loved one with you, or there may be bystanders who are not prepared to protect themselves. Typically, stand your ground laws allow for the protection of yourself and those around you.

When you are in a dangerous situation, you may need to act quickly to protect yourself and those around you. Stand your ground laws allow you to use either nondeadly or deadly force when you reasonably believe someone intends to hurt you.