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Self Defense: A Legal Defense in Florida

Written by Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law on July 14, 2016

We all hope for the best for our loved ones and for ourselves. We hope that we are prosperous, fruitful, healthy, and protected throughout our days. What happens when throughout our day, danger sets upon us? What happens when someone is unreasonably forceful? For these matters, you are expected to protect yourself from any unreasonable harm and for those in Florida, you are protected if someone harms or threatens to bring harm to you or your family or property. This justification is called self-defense. If you or a loved one are charged with a crime, however, and you were only protecting yourself, you may be justified in your actions. It is in your best interest to seek legal advice from an experienced Florida criminal law attorney.

What is Self Defense and How Does it Work?

In Florida, self-defense is an affirmative legal defense that is used to cancel the accusation of a violent act, which would generally subject you to criminal liability. A self-defense claim acknowledges that a violent act occurred but that the act was justified because you were reasonably defending yourself from harm from another. According to Florida Statute Section 776.012, a person is justified to use or threaten to use non deadly force against another person when that person reasonably believes that the conduct is necessary to defend himself against another’s immediate use of unlawful force. Deadly force may be justified when a person reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent immediate death or great bodily injury. Though in some states there is a duty to retreat before such force is used, in Florida, it is not necessary.

For property purposes, Florida Statute Section 776.013 states that it is presumed that a person held a reasonable fear of immediate peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or another to use force if another person was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle. However, there is no presumption if the person against whom defensive force is used or threatened has the right to be there. Also, it is important to note that self-defense is not available to a person who is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of a forcible felony such as treason, murder, manslaughter, sexual battery, carjacking, home invasion, arson, kidnapping, and aggravated battery and assault, to name a few. In addition to not being able to use self-defense as a defense for forcible felonies, it is also not available where evidence proves that the defendant initially provoked the violence. If you have been put into any of the above situations, it is in your best interest to seek legal advice so that your rights can be determined.

Need Legal Advice?

Defending yourself against potential harm should not a second thought for you and you should not be held criminally responsible. That is why it is important that you seek legal representation and advice if you have found yourself in this predicament. Contact Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law at (407) 531-8694 for an initial consultation. Let us help you figure out the best strategies for your case so that you may be able to be successful in your self-defense claim. Contact our office today.

Posted Under: Self Defense

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