The Florida Stand Your Ground Law has received a lot of attention over the last few months. When a criminal defense attorney tries to utilize the Florida Stand Your Ground law, the criminal defense attorney is alleging the defendant is immune from prosecution under the law. In other words, the criminal defense lawyer is arguing that the state cannot prosecute the defendant because the Florida Stand Your Ground law says the defendant’s conduct was justified under the law and the case must be dismissed.
In a recent case south of Jacksonville, Florida, the defendant was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after he shot the victim. Apparently, the defendant was a security guard at a club. Some guys left the club with beers, and the defendant told them they could not leave the club with beers. The guys concealed the beers and started drinking in the parking lot. The defendant confronted the guys about drinking in the parking lot. At some point, the victim became hostile, and the other guys started to surround the defendant. The victim threw a full beer bottle at the defendant and missed. He then grabbed a second beer bottle to throw at the defendant. At this point, the defendant shot the victim several times. The defendant called 911 and stayed at the scene until the police arrived.
The state charged the defendant with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon based on these facts. The criminal defense lawyer moved to dismiss the case arguing that the defendant was justified in using deadly force as he was reasonably in fear of death or serious bodily injury or being the victim of a forcible felony. The court agreed with the defendant and dismissed the case. The court found that the defendant was reasonably in fear of being hit by a full beer bottle, which could be a forcible felony. The defendant was also reasonably in fear of serious bodily injury or worse. If the victim hit him with the beer bottle and knocked him down, the victim and his friends could have taken his gun or otherwise caused him serious injury. As a result, the court found that the Florida Stand Your Ground law applied and dismissed the case.