In 2017, updates that had previously been made to the “stand your
ground" law in Florida were ruled to be unconstitutional by Judge
Milton Hirsch. The update to the law would have required state and local
prosecutors to disprove a defendant's self-defense case during pretrial hearings.
According to Judge Hirsch, the amendment to the stand your ground law gave
lawmakers too much authority, stating that the amendment should have first
been crafted by the Florida Supreme Court. In his opinion, Judge Hirsch
said, “As a matter of constitutional separation of powers, that
procedure cannot be legislatively modified.”
Back in 2015, the Florida Supreme Court ruled to shift the burden in stand
your ground cases from prosecutors to the defendants. This meant that
defendants were required to prove their actions constituted self-defense
if they wanted to avoid being prosecuted for a
Prosecutors opposed the amendment because they believed it made it easier
for defendants to get away from murder charges, and because it required
them to provide "clear and convincing" evidence that a defendant
was not using violent force as an act of self-defense.
What Is the Stand Your Ground Law?
In 2005, Florida passed a stand your ground law that gave people the legal
right to "shoot first" if they believed their lives were in
danger when confronted with a violent situation.
According to the law:
“A person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have
a duty to retreat if: He or she reasonably believes that such force is
necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or
The stand your ground law granted judges the authority to dismiss charges
against defendants if a reasonable level of self-defense was used in the case.
Speak to a Sarasota Violent Crimes Attorney
If you are being charged for a violent crime after defending yourself,
you’ll need the skills of an experienced lawyer on your side to
ensure your rights are fully protected. At Wyndel G. Darville, PLLC, our
team of compassionate legal professionals are committed to defending clients
across Florida, and we have the resources and knowledge you need to secure
a fair case result. Let us take a look at your case today so we can get
started building your legal strategy.
Call (941) 564-5319 to
request a free 30-minute consultation with a
legal advocate in Sarasota.