The Stand Your Ground Law and the Use of Deadly Force

Our state's Stand Your Ground law specifically allows residents to use deadly force if they have a reasonable fear for their safety or the safety of their loved ones. The law operates on the basis that individuals have the right to stand their ground and defend themselves, as well as their property, if they feel they are in imminent danger. While many people support the use of deadly force in such situations, the use of deadly force as part of the Stand Your Ground law is not without controversy. In one such case a 72-year-old man who suffered from Alzheimer's was fatally shot in the chest after he wandered off and began banging on the door of a young couple's home. The 34-year-old owner of the home, who has been fearful of the man's intent and weary of his refusal to identify himself, felt he had no other option but to shoot in an effort to protect himself and his wife. The district attorney is still reviewing the facts and trying to make a decision as to whether the young man will face any charges.

Another high profile Stand Your Ground case was the murder trial involving the death of Trayvon Martin. In this case neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges after he fatally shot Martin. People across the U.S. were outraged at the jury verdict in the Trayvon Martin case and many protests were launched, both in an effort to support an individual's right to bear arms as well as to demand a change in state laws. Although a motion was filed to repeal our state's Stand Your Ground law, it was quickly defeated by the House of Representatives.

It is important to understand that this does not mean any instance of standing your ground or acting in self-defense will make it easy to defend your case in court. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with any case involving the accusation of the use of deadly force, a criminal defense lawyer from Taylor & Taylor will be able to advise you of your legal rights and help you prepare an aggressive strategy for your defense. Criminal defense cases involve a number of complexities. Having a skilled defense lawyer, who is committed to protecting your interests, is essential in your fight to retain your freedom and a favorable outcome at trial. Call a St. Augustine criminal defense lawyer at our firm right away to discuss your case and the strategy for your defense.

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