As a Florida resident, it’s imperative to understand the finer details of the stand your ground law. While you hope it never personally comes into play, you never know what the future holds.
For example, imagine a situation in which you’re home alone and hear your back door open. You could run or hide, but you instead grab for a weapon to protect yourself and property. As the intruder comes at you, you take action to protect yourself.
While you consider it self-defense, you have concerns that the legal system will charge you with homicide.
In 2005, the state of Florida passed the country’s first stand your ground law. In short, this gives you the legal authority to use deadly force if you have reason to believe that it’s necessary as a means of preventing bodily harm.
The 2 types of self-defense
There are two distinct types of self-defense:
- Deadly force: This is when you use or threaten to use deadly force to protect yourself or your property against a crime, including but not limited to burglary and assault.
- Non-deadly force: This is the use of force that is not likely to kill someone, such as striking them with a fist or pushing them down. Just the same as deadly force, you can use this as a means of protecting yourself from danger.
Protecting your legal rights in court
If you find yourself in a compromising position, such as if someone breaks into your home, you need to do what’s best for you and your family from a safety perspective. This doesn’t give you much time to think about the law or the potential repercussions.
Thanks to the Florida stand your ground law, you can use self-defense as your primary defense strategy if you’re charged with a crime, such as assault or homicide. Should the judge find that your self-defense was justified, they’ll dismiss your charges. Conversely, if they feel that you used unnecessary force, your case is likely to move to a jury trial.
When your safety is in danger, you’ll do whatever it takes to protect yourself. If this results in some type of criminal charge, you may be able to fall back on the stand your ground law to protect yourself.