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Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer > Blog > Criminal Defense > Stand Your Ground and Self-Defense in the Sunshine State

Stand Your Ground and Self-Defense in the Sunshine State


Throughout the US, individuals take steps to protect themselves and their property, but the laws surrounding self-defense rights vary from state to state. In Florida, there is a self-defense statute known as the Stand Your Ground law, which has a large impact on self-defense claims in criminal cases.

If you are interested in learning more about when individuals can legally use force to protect themselves and their property and if there are state protections that apply to your case, connect with Clearwater criminal defense lawyer.

Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law History

First enacted in 2005, the Stand Your Ground law in Florida was part of a broader self-defense reform. Florida followed the duty to retreat principle prior to the change, which required individuals to retreat from a threat before using self-defense force. Essentially, the Stand Your Ground law eliminated this duty to retreat if an individual reasonably believes they are facing an imminent threat.

There has been national attention brought to self-defense cases in Florida, and some cases have ignited a broader discussion about Stand Your Ground law’s application and implications. The following key elements apply to state self-defense rules.

  • Duty to retreat is not in place. Individuals do not have a legal obligation to retreat from a perceived threat before making the decision to use force.
  • Reasonable belief. In order for the use of force to be justified, the person exerting self-defense actions needs to reasonably believe that it is necessary in order to prevent serious bodily harm to themselves or others.
  • Level of force. The law allows for both the use of lethal and non-lethal force. Unique circumstances need to be reviewed, but deadly force in response to a threat is perceived as lethal could be included.
  • Prosecution immunity. If there is enough evidence for a person to successfully assert a Stand Your Ground defense, they will then be immune from prosecution on both a criminal and civil level.

While it is true that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law provides broad self-defense protections, it is not a blanket license to use violence. To legally use self-defense force in the state of Florida, individuals must have reasonable belief of imminent threat and the force used must be proportional to the perceived threat.

Connect with a Skilled Attorney to Discuss Self-Defense Rights

Consulting with an experienced Clearwater criminal defense lawyer is crucial if you find yourself facing legal issues related to self-defense in Florida. An attorney can provide guidance on your rights, assess the strength of your case, and represent your interests in court if necessary.

Do you believe your legal situation involves your right to defend yourself and your property? If you have questions or concerns about how the Stand Your Ground law may apply to your situation, seek legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected. Talk to the legal team at King Law Group about if your actions were within the bounds of the law and how a defense strategy could be pursued. Schedule your free consultation today.

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