Under current Florida law, people no longer have a “duty to retreat” from any situation where their use of deadly force could save their lives or the life of others or prevent serious bodily harm. Florida’s “stand your ground” law expanded the “castle doctrine” to include any place where the law permits people to be.
These laws protect a person’s right to use deadly force if necessary without facing criminal prosecution. The law presumes that the individual acted reasonably and was in fear of losing his life or sustaining severe bodily harm unless the prosecution can prove otherwise. However, there are situations where “stand your ground” may not be an effective defense.
The protections in “stand your ground” laws only apply to situations where the user of deadly force has a legal right to be present in the location where the incident occurs. It does not protect someone in the act of trespassing.
The law does not protect a person who uses deadly force while engaged in criminal activity. For example, if an incident occurs during a drug deal, the defense would not apply.
Another exception to the “stand your ground” protection is that it is typically not a valid defense in a case where a person must defend himself because he has provoked the attacker.
With a charge as serious as murder, particularly in a death penalty state such as Florida, it is essential to have an experienced defense attorney handling the case. To learn more about the types of cases we handle, visit our “About” page.