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Self-defense is a complex legal matter. Often a person’s guilt or innocence greatly depends on both the minute and significant details of the case. One key element in a case may be the difference between what is considered a heroic act of self-defense and needing an aggravated assault attorney in Tampa. In the last section, we explained how Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law” permits that a person, whose life is in imminent danger, can combat this immediate threat with defensive force. In addition, if an intruder forcibly enters your home or vehicle, you can apply defensive force to that person.
Although there are some undeniable scenarios in the State of Florida when the “Stand Your Ground Law” is applicable, in some cases, self-defense isn’t an applicable excuse for harming another person that has entered your home or your vehicle. In these circumstances, the law does not justify that the person should apply defensive force to the alleged threat.
Resident of the dwelling: If a person is the legal owner or resident of a home or vehicle, they have a right to enter their property. An exception to this rule would be if there was an injunction filed against that person for domestic violence and they were no longer legally permitted to enter the dwelling.
Child or Grandchild: If a minor is in the “lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship” of the person that applied the defensive force, their presence in the home was clearly not a threat to the person that applied that force.
Criminal Intent: If the person that applies the deadly force is “engaged in a criminal activity” or using the dwelling to “further a criminal activity” then they would not qualify as a person that was simply protecting themselves from a threat. Any type of nefarious act or forcible felonies like robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault, or sexual battery eliminate that person from qualifying as acting in self-defense.
Law Enforcement: Although law enforcement should never enter your property without probable cause or a warrant, if a police officer attempts to enter or enters a dwelling or vehicle and defensive force is inflicted on them this is also not considered self-defense by the person that inflicted this force. In other words, the person that applied that force should be aware that the officer was performing their “official duties.”
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.