24th Sep 2019
If you are charged with assault or a similar offense, your criminal defense attorney in Broward County may explore the possibility of asserting a self-defense argument. If successful, this defense protects a person from the legal consequences of committing the offense that would otherwise be considered an unlawful violent act. Your criminal defense attorney in Broward County can discuss whether you may have a viable self-defense claim.
Self-Defense with the Use of Non-Deadly Force
Florida law states that a person is justified in using or threatening to use non-deadly force when it is necessary to defend himself or herself against the perpetrator’s imminent use of unlawful use. Florida law does not require the person to retreat. Additionally, this defense can be used if another person’s safety is threatened.
Self-Defense with the Use of Deadly Force
Deadly force is justified when the defendant reasonably believes this force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another person or to prevent the defendant from committing a felony. The defendant has a right to stand their ground as long as he or she is not committing a crime and has a legal right to be where he or she is.
When a person unlawfully enters a dwelling, residence or vehicle, a statutory exemption generally applies that finds that there was a reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm to justify the use of deadly force.
While the information above is pretty straightforward, self-defense cases are often complex. The law provides a number of exceptions when self-defense will not be a valid defense, so it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for help.