Know What Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law and Self-Defense Mean

Florida Statute 776.012

(1) A person is justified in using or threatening to use force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. A person who uses or threatens to use force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat before using or threatening to use such force.

(2) A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.

What is the Difference Between the Stand Your Ground Law and Self Defense?

Self defense is a defense to avoid the legal effects of an otherwise unlawful violent act. If you point a gun to someone because you are defending yourself in a situation in which you feel threatened, the act may be excused by the law. An individual has the right to defend themselves through the use of force if they feel threatened. Each state has different self defense laws.

In 2005, Florida passed the Stand Your Ground self-defense law. Many critics feared it would allow the expansion of each citizen’s right to use deadly force anytime and anywhere they felt threatened.

Before Stand Your Ground, Floridians could always defend their home under the Castle Doctrine, which said you had the right to use deadly force if you believed your life was in imminent danger and you did not have to retreat. However, Floridians did have the duty to retreat or diffuse a dangerous situation outside their homes before using force.

After stand your ground, Floridians could defend themselves anywhere they were legally allowed to be. There would be do duty to retreat in public or diffuse or leave a dangerous situation if you had reasonable fear to use the Stand Your Ground right. Standing your ground is a different argument than self-defense and can be used to avoid an arrest or a trial altogether.

Criminal Defense Attorney West Palm Beach

Ronald Chapman

Self-defense laws are extremely complicated. If you have used your Stand Your Ground right or have been charged with a crime and were acting in self-defense, contact Ronald Chapman. Ronald Chapman is an experienced defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the Florida criminal court system and is dedicated to his clients. Ronald Chapman can help you with your case.

Ronald Chapman practices criminal defense in both State and Federal Courts within the State of Florida. Since 1990, Mr. Chapman has been representing people accused of committing various types of crimes. If you are facing criminal charges in Florida, Ronald Chapman can help.

Schedule your FREE Consultation! Call (561) 832-4348 or visit his website.

Visit us at You can also connect with the West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Office online today! Ronald Chapman, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, dedicated to defending your rights. Contact him today to begin to discuss your case.

Ronald S. Chapman, P.A.
400 Clematis Street, Suite 206
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

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