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Justified Force and Standing Your Ground in Florida

Posted by Powers Sellers & Finkelstein | May 16, 2022 | 0 Comments

Justified Force And Standing Your Ground In Florida

Justified Force And Standing Your Ground In Florida

“Stand Your Ground” has been a household topic with hotly debated cases discussed on news stations throughout the country. 

Most states have protective defense measures set aside for citizens, but they are commonly referred to as the “castle doctrine.” This term is used because other states limit the stand your ground defense to be used only when protecting your home or “castle.” 

In Florida, we have extended this area of defense beyond where you sleep, allowing those who feel they are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm to use deadly force as a necessary means to protect themselves and/or others.

The parameters include your dwelling or residence—meaning a tent, house, porch, property, or business. Under this law, any use of force to protect yourself can be used.  

Florida's “Stand Your Ground”

Florida Statue 776.013, Justifiable Use of Force, is commonly referred to as the “Stand Your Ground” law.

The law states (1) “A person who is in a dwelling or residence in which the person has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and use or threaten to use:

  • Nondeadly force against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other's imminent use of unlawful force; or
  • Deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.

In Florida, there is no duty to retreat, meaning that if there is a way out to avoid imminent harm, you have no duty to take it. 

Building Your Defense

We will develop your defense to show you clearly had reasons for your defensive actions. The importance of a concise recounting of your story is to show there was no alternative outcome. The person invading your home, tent, car, property, or business intended grave harm to you or others in the space.

When we discuss your defense, we will evaluate the circumstances surrounding the event, including:

  • Did you believe you were in imminent threat of death or great bodily harm when you acted to stand your ground?
  • What was the sequence of events that led to your actions/reaction?
  • Were your actions to use force justified in the name of “defense” according to the circumstances and definitions outlined in the Florida Statute 776.013?
  • Was there the threat of kidnapping yourself or another individual in your home or property?
  • Do you have witnesses to the event or interactions with others leading up to your actions? This can be with emergency responders, in-person witnesses, a neighbor, a home security system, or even through text or telephone calls to others. 

We will complete interviews with your witnesses and secure witnesses for trial to strengthen your defense.  

Situations When Stand Your Ground Does Not Apply

The court may find your actions to use deadly force were justified. In that case, you will be immune from criminal prosecution and civil action. However, the court will find you did not act within the parameters to Stand Your Ground in the following circumstances:  

  • When a crime is in progress, and the person is attempting to leave the property/premises. 
  • Force against someone serving a warrant or acting in an official capacity. 
  • If you are involved in an altercation with another person, such as a bar fight, and use deadly force.
  • If you commit a crime such as a robbery, trespassing, breaking and entering.
  • Force against law enforcement. 

If the court finds that your actions were not justified, your defense does not stop, and we will continue to work to defend you in the court of law.  


Accordingly, Florida's Stand Your Ground Law applies to any force and weapon. The nuances of this statute should clearly illustrate the importance of having a skilled criminal trial attorney by your side. 

PSF Firm is the top-rate legal team serving the Florida counties of Manatee, Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, and Sarasota. We are managed by Amanda Powers-Sellers and Jenna Finkelstein. They are both highly experienced and respected criminal defense attorneys in Florida. They have over 30 years of litigation experience and know their way around a courtroom.

PSF Firm is fully capable of seeing your case to trial to get results. Contact us now to set up your consultation by calling 727-531-2926. We are here for you anytime, 24/7.

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