Do You Have A Right to Protect Yourself or Others?
The answer is there is no “right”, but you can protect yourself or others according to the current Laws in Florida. If you meet the elements of the commonly named statute of “Stand Your Ground” then you have the right to protect you and others from grave bodily harm from another person.
For example: a burglar comes into your Fort Lauderdale, Margate or Coral Springs home and you are there watching T.V. with your family or friends. If the intruder decides to attack you when he notices you, are you supposed to run away, or defend yourself, others, home, and children? You can legally defend your home, others, and your children if you are able to do so. And if you are able to take control of the situation, subdue the offender and dial 911 immediately.
The current law reads as follows:
(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
(b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred. (cont…)
As for tacking this statute to other situations and other places such as outside your home and in the neighborhood. That is the heated current debate in the Trayvon Martin, shooting case taking place in Central Florida. With all of the conflicts in the reports, this statute may or may not apply. According to reports, the youth was not attempting to enter the shooters home, and the reports have conflict about the youth attacking the shooter at the time of the shooting.
If someone tries to hurt you or your family in your home, you have laws that protect you if you chose to defend yourself and others. But read further into the laws before you jump the gun. Call a local attorney for a consult if you or any family member have been accused or charged with a crime that you believe may involve self defense.