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Focused on Protecting Businesses and Representing the Injured

Florida Legislature Seeking to Expand “Stand Your Ground” Law

For years, the Yau Law Firm has defended various types of criminal defense cases ranging from DUIs and drug offenses, to burglary and theft charges. But, no criminal defense case has generated so much heat and discussion in 2012 like the Trayvon Martin case. Now, once again, the nation questions the fate of George Zimmerman, the man accused with killing Trayvon Martin, and whether the Florida legislature will allow the current “Stand Your Ground” law to expand.

Justifiable use of force in criminal defense, also known as Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, has come to the forefront of legal discussion in recent months as preparations are made in the Martin trial. Aside from the details of the case, the issue that has many concerned citizens and legal professionals talking is whether or not Florida’s Stand Your Ground law should remain or be repealed, in whole or in part.

On February 28, 2013, one year after the death of Martin, a legislator from Polk County introduced a bill that would grant criminal immunity to those who fire warning shots. The idea is to frighten away the attacker. Currently, however, it is illegal to use deadly force against someone without a reasonable belief of imminent, great bodily harm or death to oneself or another.

The current law, Fla. Stat. § 776.013 (2012) states, “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

Possible changes to the current “Stand Your Ground” law may be discussed at the next Regular Session. The Senate will convene at 10:00 am on March 5, 2013. 

The Yau Law Firm knows your rights. Let us help you, or someone you know, defend them. Contact us today to find out how.

Article by:  Florence Chen

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