FLORIDA’S “STAND YOUR GROUND” LAW
SELF-DEFENSE / USE OF DEADLY FORCE
FLORIDA STATUTE 776.012 / 776.013 / 776.031 / 776.032
DOES AN INDIVIDUAL HAVE A RIGHT TO USE DEADLY FORCE IF CONFRONTED BY AN INTRUDER INSIDE HIS OR HER OWN HOME?
IF YOU ARE WALKING DOWN THE STREET AND YOU ARE ASSAULTED OR ROBBED, DOES FLORIDA LAW PERMIT THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT YOURSELF OR OTHERS?
FLORIDA LAW HAS LONG RECOGNIZED THE RIGHT OF AN INDIVIDUAL TO USE DEADLY FORCE IN SELF DEFENSE BASED ON A THEORY CALLED THE “CASTLE DOCTRINE”.
A PERSON’S HOME IS HIS OR HER CASTLE, AND THERFORE HE OR SHE WAS AFFORDED CERTAIN PROTECTIONS AND IMMUNITY FROM CRIMINAL PROSECUTION WHEN DEADLY FORCE WAS USED TO PROTECT ONESELF AND OTHERS. THERE WAS NO DUTY TO RETREAT INSIDE ONES HOME OR WORKPLACE PURSUANT TO THE CASTLE DOCTRINE.
DEADLY FORCE WAS ONLY PERMISSABLE TO DEFEND AGAINST IMMINENT DEADLY FORCE, GREAT BODILY HARM, OR AGAINST THE COMMISSION OF A FORCIBLE FELONY. AN INDIVIDUAL HAD THE DUTY TO RETREAT PRIOR TO USING DEADLY FORCE.
IN 2005, THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE ENACTED FLORIDA STATUTE 776.012 & 776.013, COMMONLY KNOWN AS FLORIDA’S STAND YOUR GROUND LAW.
THE LAW REMOVES THE DUTY TO RETREAT AND JUSTIFIES THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.
AN INDIVIDUAL MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN USING OR THREATENING TO USE DEADLY FORCE IN SELF-DEFENSE, IF HE OR SHE REASONABLY BELIEVES DEADLY FORCE IS NECESSARY TO:
- PREVENT IMMINENT DEATH OR GREAT BODILY HARM TO YOURSELF OR OTHERS
- PREVENT THE IMMINENT COMMISSION OF A FORCIBLE FELONY.
IN THEORY, THE LAW GRANTS IMMUNITY FROM PROSECUTION IN CASES WHERE DEADLY FORCE WAS USED IN SELF DEFENSE BASED ON THE ABOVE CIRCUMSTANCES. PURSUANT TO THE “LETTER OF THE LAW”, AN INDIVIDUAL SHOULD NOT BE ARRESTED OR CHARGED WITH A CRIME RESULTING FROM THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE BASED ON THE ABOVE.
THE POLICE WILL ARREST YOU FOR CARRYING A FIREARM.
THE POLICE WILL ARREST YOU FOR DISCHARGING THE FIREARM.
THE POLICE WILL ARREST YOU FOR DISCHARGING THE FIREARM CAUSING THE DEATH OR SERIOUS BODILY INJURY TO ANOTHER.
THE STATE ATTORNEY’S OFFICE WILL USE ALL ITS RESOURCES TO PROSECUTE YOU PURSUANT TO 10-20-LIFE. Click Here
THE LAW PROVIDES A DEFENDANT, PRIOR TO A JURY TRIAL, AN EVIDENTARY HEARING, FOR THE TRIAL JUDGE TO DETERMINE WHETHER AN INDIVIDUAL WAS JUSTIFIED IN USING DEADLY FORCE IN SELF-DEFENSE.
THE TRIAL COURT HAS THE DISCRETION TO DISMISS THE CASE TAKING THE ACTION AWAY FROM THE PROSECUTORS.
IN A CRIMINAL PROSECUTION, ONCE A PRIMA FACIE CLAIM OF SELF-DEFENSE IMMUNITY FROM CRIMINAL PROSECUTION HAS BEEN RAISED BY A DEFENDANT AT PRE-TRIAL IMMUNITY HEARING, THE BURDEN OF PROOF BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE, IS ON THE STATE TO OVERCOME THE IMMUNITY FROM CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA BEARS THE BURDEN OF DISPROVING, BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE, A FACIALLY SUFFICIENT CLAIM OF SELF-DEFENSE IMMUNITY IN A CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.
THE IMMUNITY HEARING IS AN INVALUABLE TOOL FOR A DEFENSE ATTORNEY REPRESENTING AN INDIVIDUAL WHO ARGUES FLORIDA STAND YOUR GROUND LAW.
NOT ONLY IS THERE AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE THE CASE DISMISSED, BUT THE HEARING AFFORDS THE ATTORNEY A PREVIEW OF THE TESTIMONY AND EVIDENCE AGAINST HIS OR HER CLIENT.
EXCEPTIONS TO STAND YOUR GROUND
DEADLY FORCE CAN NOT BE USED AS A DEFENSE:
- IF YOU ARE ENGAGED IN ILLEGAL / CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.
- IF YOU ARE UNLAWFULLY INSIDE AN INDIVIDUAL’S HOME / VEHICLE / PLACE OF BUSINESS / OR PUBLIC AREA.
- IF YOU ARE ESCAPING AFTER THE COMISSION OF A FORCIBLE FELONY.
- IF YOU INITIATE / PROVOKE A VIOLENT SITUATION THAT RESLUTS IN A PERSON’S DEATH.
- ANY OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES THAT ARE DEFINED BY FLORIDA LAW WHEREIN THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE IS INAPPLICABLE.
THE APPLICATION OF FLORIDA’S “STAND YOUR GROUND” LAW IS COMPLEX IN BOTH FACT AND LAW. THE LAW’S APPLICABILITY IS NOT UNIFORM IN THE STATE.
While I was a student attending Nova Southeastern University School of Law, I became a certified legal intern prosecuting cases for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office in the Spring of 1990. I prosecuted misdemeanor cases in county court prior to my admission to the Florida Bar.
Upon being admitted to the practice of law by the Florida Bar in September 1990, I was employed as an Assistant State Attorney by the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. I was responsible for prosecuting individuals accused of misdemeanors such as driving under the influence, petit theft, assault, and battery. In September 1992, I was promoted to county court supervisor.
In December 1992, I was promoted to felony circuit court responsible for prosecuting individuals accused of aggravated battery, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, firearm offenses and felony narcotic violations. In November 1993, I was promoted to “Lead Prosecutor”, Felony Trial Unit.
In August 1994, I was promoted and assigned to the Broward County Sex Crimes / Child Abuse Unit. As a former prosecutor, I conducted numerous “pre-filing interviews”. I communicated consistently with detectives and made the ultimate decision whether to charge an individual with a sex / child abuse crime.
Upon leaving the State Attorney’s Office in 1997, I have dedicated my professional life defending individuals charged with serious crimes. Please utilize my extensive training, background and experience to defend and protect you and your loved ones. I will carefully examine each aspect of your case. From the interviews conducted, the alleged evidence derived from the crime scene, and most importantly, the alleged victim. Motive, intent, bias, and prejudice of the government’s alleged victim and witnesses shall be brought forward before the detective, prosecutor, and Court.
24 HOURS A DAY / 7 DAYS A WEEK: (954) 567-0300 or (561) 929-3051