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What Is Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Law?

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Before “stand your ground” became law in Florida, a person had the right to defend his or her home under something known as the Castle Doctrine. Inside your home, you had no duty to retreat before using deadly force against what you believed to be imminent deadly force. Which meant outside your “castle,” you did have a duty to retreat or an obligation to try to diffuse the situation or get away from it before resorting to force.

Under “stand your ground”, a person’s “castle” is extended to anywhere you are legally allowed to be. There is no duty to retreat in public and the use of deadly force comes with the presumption that you had a reasonable fear to use it. Under “stand your ground”, rather than having to use self-defense as an argument at trial, someone can claim they were standing their ground and avoid a trial altogether. Under the law, an individual can also be immune from arrest and prosecution.

Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Law

The heart of the “stand your ground” amendments is section 776.032, Florida Statutes. The plain language of section 776.032 grants defendants a right to assert immunity from prosecution and to avoid being subjected to a trial. The term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

Under section 776.012, Florida Statute, a person is justified in using deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another. A person who uses deadly force does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person is not engaged in criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.

Under Florida’s “stand your ground” statute, a person who is engaged in any lawful activity, and who is attacked in any place where he or she has a right to be, has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another.

If you or a loved-one have become involved in a situation where “stand your ground” becomes an issue, you may avoid arrest and be entitled to “stand your ground” immunity from prosecution. At a “stand your ground” hearing, the state bears the burden of establishing that you are not entitled to “stand your ground” immunity.

Why Contact a “Stand Your Ground” Criminal Defense Lawyer?

One of the biggest benefits associated with hiring a qualified lawyer is that you increase your chances of getting the relief you deserve. A skilled and experienced attorney will be able to research the law and the facts and demonstrate to a judge why you are entitled immunity at a “stand your ground” hearing.

A good attorney should have the knowledge, experience and the resources necessary to show your entitlement to “stand your ground” immunity. You will need to hire an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Why? Because experience counts.

If you or a loved-one find yourself in a “stand your ground” situation, you or your loved-one may be facing a long prison sentence. Not every attorney has the qualifications and experience necessary to handle a “stand your ground” hearing. You need a qualified and experienced defense lawyer to fight for your rights.

Why Daniel J. Fernandez, P.A.?

The “stand your ground” laws are highly complex. It is important to act quickly and secure legal representation. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel J. Fernandez, P.A. have experience in “stand your ground” situations and will work vigorously to protect your rights, and in many cases, may be able to prevent an improper and unnecessary trial. Our attorneys welcome the opportunity to discuss your case with you. Criminal defense attorney Daniel J. Fernandez is bilingual as well. If you or a loved one need legal assistance with a “stand your ground” situation, call Daniel J. Fernandez, P.A. at (813) 229-5353, or submit an online form. Se habla español!

Daniel J. Fernandez

Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez defends individuals charged with a misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses throughout the Tampa Bay area and the State of Florida. With more than 30 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and hundreds of jury trials, Daniel earned tremendous accolades from judges, other lawyers, defendants, and even jurors. Daniel started his legal career as a state prosecutor and became the chief of the Narcotics division before opening his own law practice in 1985.

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