The Florida "Stand Your Ground" Law
Broward County Stand Your Ground Attorney
Florida's Stand your Ground Law is contained in Fla. Stat. 776.032. The law creates statutory immunity from prosecution when an individual reasonably believes that they are in danger of imminent death or bodily harm and they use force to defend themselves. Under the statute the use of force is also permissible to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. In most states a person has a duty to retreat if they can do so safely before responding to a threat of imminent bodily harm with deadly force. Florida's Stand Your Ground law which was first passed in 2005 eliminates the duty to retreat in the State of Florida and permits individuals to defend themselves or others from an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death with force and to avoid prosecution under the law. If you have been arrested for assault or battery or aggravated battery or aggravated assault and believe that you should be protected under the Stand Your Ground law then it is essential that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. In many cases, the Stand Your Ground defense may not prevent the state from filing formal charges against you. It is the job of your attorney to communicate with the prosecutor's office and to work to prevent the filing of formal charges in your case. However, if formal charges are filed against you, your attorney can set a Stand Your Ground hearing in the criminal court. At a Stand Your Ground hearing the defense bears the burden of proving to the court that the preponderance of the evidence shows that you were justified in the use of force.
- For an assault to occur, an unlawful threat by word or act to do harm to another along with the apparent ability to immediately do so must be present.
- No physical contact is required in order for a person to be convicted of assault.
- Assault is a misdemeanor of the 2nd degree punishable by a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail. (See Fla. Stat. 784.011)
- The offense of Battery occurs when a person actually and intentionally touches another against their will or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
- In Florida, Battery is a misdemeanor of the 1st degree punishable by up to one year in jail.
- A second conviction for battery is considered a 3rd degree felony where a person could be subject to a possible sentence of up to 5 years in Florida state prison. (See Fla. Stat. 784.03)
- A domestic battery occurs when the victim of a battery is a household member of the accused. In addition to the standard sentencing for a simple battery, if a person is convicted of a Domestic Battery, they will be required to serve 5 days in jail, serve 1 year on probation and attend a domestic violence education program.
- A domestic battery by strangulation is a third degree felony.
- Self defense is often a viable legal defense in domestic battery situations. If you have been arrested for domestic battery and were in fact defending yourself, then you must contact criminal lawyer Antonio D. Quinn, Esq. immediately so that work can begin on setting the record straight and clearing your name.
- If a victim suffers great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement or a permanent disability as a result of a Battery, then the individual accused of committing the Battery can be charged with Felony Battery.
- Felony Battery is a 3rd degree felony. (See Fla. Stat. 784.041)
- An Aggravated Battery occurs when in committing a Battery a person intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement.
- An Aggravated Battery occurs if a deadly weapon is used during the course of a battery.
- If a person knew or should have known that the victim of a battery was pregnant, then the individual can be charged with aggravated battery.
- Aggravated Battery is a 2nd degree felony. (See Fla. Stat. 784.045)
Defenses to Assault and Battery
- Self Defense: If a person was protecting themselves from immediate harm at the time that they committed the alleged battery.
- Defense of Others: In Florida it is permissible to use reasonable force to defend another person from being attacked.
- Consent: Consent to the alleged offensive touching is an affirmative defense to a charge of Assault or Battery.
- Accidentor a lack of Intent
Criminal lawyer Antonio D. Quinn, Esq. aggressively defends those who are facing Battery and Assault charges in Broward County and Palm Beach. Do not take chances with your future. Call an experienced assault and battery attorney as soon as possible at (954) 463-0440.