Self-Defense and Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Law
Written by Moses & Rooth on October 4, 2019
A recent Florida manslaughter trial received national attention when a jury convicted a licensed gun owner of manslaughter for killing another man in a Clearwater parking lot. The case involved Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which makes it legally justified for a person who is in fear for his or her life to use deadly force to stop an attack.
Orlando Self-Defense Attorneys
If you are facing a murder or assault related charge, you may have a valid claim to self-defense. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, our criminal defense attorneys have successfully represented clients who have faced a wide variety of criminal charges.
If you would like to discuss your case with experienced, skilled attorneys, contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation. We will evaluate your case and discuss possible defense strategies, including self-defense or the stand your ground law, if necessary.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law
In 2005 the Florida Legislature enacted Florida Statute 776.012 which has been popularly known as “Stand Your Ground.” This new law widens the scope of self-defense. The law provides a person the right to use lethal force to defend themselves against threats without imposing a duty to retreat. In some states, a person cannot shoot an aggressor with the intent to kill without first attempting to retreat or flee from the danger.
Under the stand your ground law, a person does not need to attempt to retreat the altercation. Instead, he or she can shoot the aggressor without attempting to retreat when a reasonable person would believe he or she was in danger of great bodily harm or death in similar circumstances.
The jury in the trial mentioned above convicted the defendant of manslaughter, despite the defendant claiming the stand your ground defense. The defendant and the deceased person argued over a disabled parking spot. The deceased person shoved the defendant to the ground.
Seconds later, the defendant pulled out his handgun and shot the other man as he turned away from the defendant. The jury found that a reasonable person would not have believed he was in imminent threat of bodily harm or death in that situation.
Florida law categorizes manslaughter charges into the following three categories:
- Manslaughter by act or voluntary manslaughter involves committing an intentional act that was not justified or excusable that resulted in another person’s death.
- Manslaughter by procurement occurs when the defendant induced, persuaded, or encouraged someone else to kill another person.
- Manslaughter by culpable negligence occurs when the defendant engages in culpably negligent conduct that causes another person’s death.
If You are Facing a Criminal Charge in Florida, We can Help
Facing manslaughter, assault, or gun-based charge is serious. Our experienced Orlando criminal defense attorneys can skillfully advocate on your behalf. If you were involved in an altercation during the event that resulted in the alleged crime, you may have valid self-defense or stand your ground defenses. Contact our law office today to set up your initial consultation.