4 Crucial Facts About the State’s Stand Your Ground Law
Although the case of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin occurred a few years ago, it sparked a renewed debate on Florida’s stand your ground law. Here are a few facts on this pivotal Florida statute.
It’s Not Unique
Florida isn’t alone; 33 states have enacted “castle doctrine” or similar laws to protect homeowners who use force to protect themselves and their property. Instead of having a duty to retreat, people have the right to stand their ground and defend themselves using any means necessary. However, certain stipulations exist.
It’s Not New
Florida enacted its “use of force” statute back in 2005 when Governor Jeb Bush signed the law. Since that time, violent crimes have decreased and justifiable homicide cases have nearly tripled.
It Has Never Been Repealed in America
A few states have tried to repeal their respective laws, and some have come very close. However, as of the time of this writing, these “stand your ground” laws are still in effect. In fact, Florida plans to expand the reach of the law. Consult a criminal defense lawyer Ponte Vedra for more details.
Unreasonable Force Still Isn’t Justified
In states with “duty to retreat” laws, a victim must retreat to the extent possible before they begin to defend themselves. In the state of Florida, there’s no such duty, but it doesn’t mean victims can react with impunity. Property owners can use crippling (but not deadly) force to protect it from theft or damage. During a home invasion, the owner doesn’t have to determine if the perpetrator is armed before reacting with deadly force.
Every “stand your ground” case is unique, and the facts of each case are different. To get the legal advocacy and advice you’ll need to successfully apply this defense, you’ll need an experienced lawyer on your side. Call Canan Law to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense lawyer Ponte Vedra or visit cananlaw.com for more details.