What is Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law?

Share Article

Florida criminal defense lawyer Paul A. Meissner, Jr., of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. weighs in on Florida’s self-defense statute

Paul A. Meissner, Florida Criminal Defense Attorney, Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett, P.A.

Paul A. Meissner, Florida Criminal Defense Attorney

Under Florida’s “stand your ground” statutes, if a person is being attacked, they are under no legal obligation to walk away,

Florida was the first state to introduce a “stand your ground” self-defense law in 2005, which allows people to stand their ground instead of retreating if they have reason to believe that doing so will prevent death or great bodily harm. Other states followed, introducing laws that affirm one’s right to defend themselves.

“Under Florida’s “stand your ground” statutes, if a person is being attacked, they are under no legal obligation to walk away,” said criminal defense attorney Paul A. Meissner, Jr., co-founder of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. “Florida’s laws specifically state that the person being threatened – even if it is in a public place – does not have to retreat before using deadly force.”

Traditional self-defense laws specify that if an individual is under attack or is in the act of defending another person, that individual is required to behave in a reasonable manner, retreating if possible and only exercising the amount of force necessary to ward off the attacker. Under this premise, a person who is defending themselves cannot use more force than the aggressor.

“Every state has its own laws regarding self-defense, with varying interpretations of one’s right to defend themselves,” continued attorney Meissner. “More than half the states in the country have adopted some version of a “stand your ground” defense, typically limiting this defense to specified locations, such as a home or office. Other states have traditional self-defense statutes which state that if an individual can safely walk away and avoid the risk of harm, then deadly force should not be used. Under these statutes, if walking away is not viable because, for example, that person is being physically restrained, then deadly force used in self-defense is authorized. Florida’s “stand your ground” law has no limits in terms of where the law applies – it is valid in private or in a public place – and it is not limited to particular situations.”

To learn more about your rights under Florida’s “stand your ground” law, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A. Located in Clearwater, Florida, the law office of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A. has been serving the Tampa Bay area community for over 46 years. Innovative practice and proven litigation skills make the firm Tampa Bay’s premier legal team, with a proven track record of success and a reputation for excellence. For more information about Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A., visit the firm website at CarlsonMeissner.com or contact the office directly at 877-728-9653.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Mary Ann Bounacos
Follow >
Carlson, Meissner Hart & Hayslett, P.A.
Like >
Visit website