This week, the legislature’s latest attempt to repeal Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law failed. This means that a person does not have a duty to retreat if attacked. The proposed bill was soundly defeated by a vote of 11-2. This law has been the subject of protests and media coverage ever since the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin trial. “Stand Your Ground” received this coverage despite the fact that the Zimmerman trial was really a self-defense issue, not a stand your ground issue.
The Stand Your Ground Defense allows a person arrested for a criminal charge to file a motion with the court requesting that the charges be dismissed. The court holds a hearing prior to the jury trial in order to determine whether the person invoking his right to “stand his ground” has immunity from prosecution. If the arrested person wins the motion, the criminal charges are dismissed. I currently have a motion to dismiss set on the basis of Stand Your Ground in a Winter Haven case. If the motion is denied, a writ can be filed for review by a higher court. If denied, the case would proceed to trial and the jury would determine whether the individual on trial was entitled to stand their ground or use self-defense.
The “Stand Your Ground” law can be used as a defense to a number of criminal charges, but is most often seen in battery or murder cases. If you have been arrested and think you had a right to “Stand Your Ground” call an experienced crimianl defense attorney who has handled these types of motions and cases.
Thomas C. Grajek – Polk Criminal Lawyer