In the United States, the stand-your-ground law states that a person may justifiably use force in self-defense without having to retreat first. Under this legal decree, a person is justified in using deadly force in certain situations and the Stand Your Ground law would be a defense or immunity to criminal charges in a civil suits.
Stand Your Ground in Florida
On October 1st, 2005, Florida became the first state to have a Stand Your Ground law. Charges in over 200 cases have been dropped, dismissed, or defendants have been found not guilty as a result of this law.
Origins of the Law
More than 20 states followed Florida and passed their own self defense laws. However, Florida can not take all the credit for the origins of this law. The NRA, National Rifle Association, planned to use Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws as a precedent in creating self defense laws in all states. The NRA believed strongly in the Castle Doctrine, a common law dating back to the 17th century. The Castle Doctrine states that if an intruder breaks into a person’s home, or castle, then the resident does not have to retreat, and can legally use deadly force to protect themselves.
Details of the Law
The law states a person can stand their ground outside of their home or vehicle if they have a right to be there and if there is a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm.
They do not hold a duty to retreat in this circumstance and are immune from prosecution, on the grounds that the use of force was justifiable.
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