Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law

e0a70f72bdae9885bfc32d7cd19a26a1_lIs the Stand Your Ground Law a good law? I the short answer is yes. I was the first person in Sarasota County to use the defense a murder case and successfully argued the defense. My client was threatened and he defended himself with. The law worked. The law is not entirely new, some form of the law has always been around. The actual “Stand Your Ground Law” was enacted and just changed one aspect of the law. The old law said a person defending themselves had a duty to retreat. So once the person could have gotten away he had to make an attempt to leave the situation. The new law say u no longer have a duty to retreat.

A person doesn’t have to kill someone or even use a gun for this law to apply. The law states that a person can use force even deadly force to defend themselves or someone else from a forcible felony. So basically if someone is punching you can u can punch them back. If someone is hitting you with a weapon, you are legally allowed to respond in kind.

The law is broken down into three parts. The police are supposed to investigate it. If they believe the person used self-defense then the person should not be arrested. (in my experience, this does not happen very frequently, the police would rather someone else make the decision) The next step is the State Attorney’s Office is supposed to investigate it and if they believe that self-defense was justified then they are not supposed to file formal charges. Then finally after a motion is filed the Court (judge) is supposed to make a determination if the self-defense (stand your ground law) is applicable. Now if the judge denies the defendant’s motion and says that the case should not be dismissed, it is still not over yet. The defendant is allowed to argue to the jury that it was self-defense. So in theory a person gets to argue the defense four times.

In the end the law does more good than harm. Every citizen in Florida should have the absolute right to be able to walk down the street and know if they are attacked they can defend themselves and be free of prosecution.