What Should You Know About Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law?
Florida is one of many states that has a Stand Your Ground law, and it is always controversial. The law regularly makes news statewide, and throughout the country. The case of Trayvon Martin in 2012 was one of the most well-known cases of when the law was used in Florida. In that story, as in so many others, the law is controversial. This is due to the fact that often when the Stand Your Ground law is used, it is typically one person’s word against another’s. It is essential that everyone in Florida understands the law so that they are aware of their rights, and the penalties they may face if they do not use the law appropriately.
Stand Your Ground Law Explained
The Stand Your Ground law in Florida provides that a person has the right to live safely and peacefully inside their own home. As such, if someone enters your home, property, or vehicle without your consent, you have the right to defend yourself, your family members, and your property. Your defense in this situation could involve deadly force, such as shooting someone, and the law allows this even if your defense results in a fatality.
As the name of the law suggests, you do not have a duty to retreat or attempt to escape when defending yourself under the Stand Your Ground law. However, you can only use deadly force if you fear that yourself or a loved one is in imminent danger. Imminent danger does not only mean you fear that someone will kill you, but also that they may do great harm and cause serious injury. If there is no threat of imminent harm, individuals may only use non-deadly force on the perceived threat.
Exceptions to Stand Your Ground
Although the law provides people with a great deal of leniency in regards to individuals entering their property without consent, it does not apply in all cases. The law makes some very clear exceptions. These include:
- The person the force is used against is a lawful resident of the home, or has a right to be on the property,
- The person the force is used against is a child, grandchild, or under the lawful custody of the individual that uses defensive force,
- The person that uses the force is engaged in criminal activity, or intends to use the property in the commission of a crime, or
- The person the force is used against is a law enforcement officer that has identified themselves, or that the individual using force should have known was a law enforcement officer
A case that involves any of these exceptions could result in the person that used force being charged with homicide or manslaughter.
Our Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers are Here to Help with Your Case
The law provides people a great deal of freedom when they are defending their own property. Unfortunately, too many people are still charged and convicted even when they rightfully used the state’s Stand Your Ground law. If you or someone you love has been charged, let our Tampa criminal defense lawyers at All Family Law, P.A. help with your case. We know how to apply the law to specific situations, will craft a solid defense for your case, and give you the best chance of securing a favorable outcome. Call us today at (813) 672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.