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Stand Your Ground & Cases of Domestic Violence
Stand Your Ground laws are normally thought of in the context of homicides, but Florida’s laws surrounding self-defense specify that the use of non-deadly force is justifiable if defending yourself or someone else from unlawful use of force. Unfortunately, self-defense often becomes necessary in cases of domestic violence. Florida’s stand your ground laws, thankfully, can provide protection to those that had to take action to protect themselves from domestic violence.
Stand Your Ground in the Context of Domestic Violence
Florida law states that using non-deadly force to protect yourself from another person entering your house who does not have the right to be there is generally justifiable, as it’s assumed that their forced entry is committed with the intent of causing harm. This complicates the issue of self-defense in cases of domestic violence, as in most instances, both parties have the right to be in the home. For this reason, it’s always recommended to seek out an injunction or no-contact order against an abuser.
If a spouse attempts to violate an injunction or no-contact order by illegally entering the home then the justification for self-defense is much simpler, but because Florida law presumes that a victim will take out a no-contact order against abusive spouses, it is less receptive to arguments of self-defense in cases of domestic abuse in a shared home. Proving that the threat posed by the abuser was imminent and potentially fatal is essential to establishing that your use of self-defense was justified.
The Burden of Evidence
Because the use of self-defense in a domestic case can be significantly harder to argue, clear evidence is essential to prove a clear justification. The most important aspect in a case of self-defense is that there was a legitimate concern for one’s safety, such as the assaulter using a weapon.
If a reasonable case for self-defense can be established, your attorney may be able to file a “motion for declaration of immunity from prosecution”. This motion, if successful, will dismiss the case because Florida’s statutes state that those who act in self-defense are immune from both civil and criminal prosecution pertaining to their self-defense.
If you’re a victim of domestic violence, we want to help in any way possible. Petkovich Law Firm provides assistance to victims and to those who have been unjustly accused of domestic violence. For assistance in resolving your case, contact Petkovich Law Firm today.
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