Now here's a look at how the system can work in favor of innocent people who exercise lawful self-defense.
In Tampa, A jogger who was carrying a concealed handgun will not be charged for shooting and killing a teenager who attacked him during a late night run.
According to reports, prosecutors are convinced that the jogger acted in self-defense when he fired eight shots at an 18-year-old who had attacked him while he ran.
Prosecutors say Florida's Stand Your Ground law was a factor in their decision. The law, passed in 2005, gives people the right to use deadly force as long as they "reasonably believe" it is necessary to stop another person from hurting them.
The jogger told police he reached for his gun when the teen punched him in the face. The jogger has a concealed weapons permit.
The attacker died at the scene.
This story is an example of our state respects the right of a citizen to defend themself against harm. While other states may have prosecuted this man for murder due to the fact that the assailant merely punched him, Florida has adopted the "reasonable belief" approach where, considering all factors, deadly force may be reasonable even when the assailant is unarmed.
As a criminal defense attorney, I am glad to see Florida's laws working in favor of those who lawfully defend their own lives. Nobody should ever face criminal prosecution for defending themselves in the face of violence.
Now that doesn't mean that people who defend themselves aren't prosecuted. It happens all the time. Fortunately, Florida's Stand Your Ground law is there to protect you. Even if the cops arrest you and the prosecutors file charges, you may have grounds for a motion to dismiss or a strong defense at trial.
I represent clients in Miami-Dade and Broward. I am available to speak with you today regarding any questions you may have about your case or that of a loved one.