Stand Your Ground Defense in Florida

Stand Your Ground is a defense to some criminal charges in Florida. There is a high profile stand your ground case in Florida where a defendant shot someone in a parking lot dispute. The Stand Your Ground Defense Trial Live Feed is below. Beneath the video feed we have summarized what is needed to successfully establish self defense use of physical force, weapons, and firearms under state law.

 

According to CourtTV, “It all happened because of a parking spot dispute. Michael Drejka fatally shot Markeis McGlockton outside a local convenience store.” The network contends, “Shortly before the shooting, Drejka had confronted McGlockton’s girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, for using a disabled parking space with a permit. McGlockton came out of the store and pushed Drejka resulting in Drejka falling to the ground. Drejka drew his firearm and shot McGlockton. McGlockton later died from his injuries at a local hospital.”

Stand Your Ground Defense

Florida Law on Stand Your Ground “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.”

In short, a person is justified in the use of non-deadly force  and “does not have a duty to retreat before using or threatening to use such force.” The potential defendant probably will have to testify since hearsay evidence is inadmissible at such hearing.

 

Use of Deadly Force Law in Florida

 

“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.”

https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2018/776.012

Stand Your Ground Defense Trial Live Feed

 

STANDARD OF REVIEW FOR STAND YOUR GROUND HEARINGS

 

“A person who uses or threatens to use force as permitted in § 776.012″ ” is immune from criminal prosecution.” §776.032. When a defendant asserts statutory immunity, the burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence is on the party seeking to overcome the immunity from criminal prosecution provided in subsection (1).
Under § 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 is justified in the use of non-deadly force “does not have a duty to retreat before using or threatening to use such force. ” Id.

 

“An objective standard is applied to determine whether the immunity provided by these provisions attaches.” Mobley v. State, 132 So.3d 1160, 1164 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014). ” That standard requires the court to determine whether, based on circumstances as they appeared to the defendant when,he or she acted, a reasonable and prudent person situated in the same circumstances and knowing what the defendant knew would have used the same force as did the defendant. ” Id. 1164-1165.

 

ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE FOR STAND YOUR GROUND HEARINGS

 

A defendant has the right to a pretrial evidentiary hearing on his motion to dismiss based on §776.032 immunity. Satyanand v. State, 147 So.3d 662,663 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014). Hearsay evidence is inadmissible at such hearing. McDaniel v. State 24 So. 3d 654, 657-658 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009).

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