Self-defense laws greatly vary from state to state; however, in Florida, if somebody poses an immediate threat to your safety then you have the right to defend yourself. Although classifying what is “a threat” can be a gray area of the law, self-defense is a justifiable option under the right circumstances. In this three-part article, we will educate you on self-defense laws in the State of Florida and your legal rights. If you have been accused of a homicide but acted in self-defense, please contact an experienced murder defense attorney in Tampa.
In Florida, self-defense is an option if the person is in imminent danger. If a threatening person confronts you and puts your life in immediate peril, the person under attack is not required to retreat from the confrontation. In other words, you are within your legal rights to combat the threat. The key element is that there must be a legitimate belief that the person is in a life or death situation and that this act of self-defense is a necessary survival tactic. Self-defense laws can be complex and are highly disputed in litigation; however, there are some undeniable scenarios in which an act of self-defense should not be disputed.
When a person forces entry into your home or vehicle, Florida law establishes that this is considered an immediate threat to the homeowner or motorist’s safety. The presence of the intruder alone is considered sufficient evidence that the person is a threat and intends on engaging in a criminal or violent act. If under attack in your home or vehicle, you have the legal right to protect yourself by applying either non-deadly or deadly force to the threat.
Applying “deadly force” is the act of either seriously injuring or causing death to another person with a weapon. Firearms, knives, baseball bats, and even vehicles can be considered weapons of deadly force. Although allegations of applying deadly force are very serious and may result in your need for a murder defense lawyer in Tampa, there are a few situations in which the use of deadly force is justifiable. Many Florida residents are familiar with the “Stand Your Ground Law.” The law states that a person can justifiably apply deadly force to another person if that deadly force was necessary to protect them from imminent danger or serious bodily harm.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.