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Stand Your Ground Law - Questions

Fish HaidFish Haid Posts: 8,417 Admiral

Am I allowed to stand my ground with deadly force even if I am carrying a concealed firearm without a permit?  Or, if I am not allowed to own a firearm, or if I do have a permit, but I am highly intoxicated?

I realize I could still be charged with weapons violation, but does the illegal carry negate my stand your ground rights?

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Replies

  • pottydocpottydoc Posts: 5,759 Admiral
    edited July 2018 #2
    As I understand it, Stand Your Ground has nothing to do with concealed carry. It applies in your house, or anywhere else. You can use any kind of weapon, not just a gun. So I would think it still applied under the conditions you specified, with the possible exception of not being allowed to process a fire arm. But, you would still be good there if you used a weapon other than a firearm. I’m not a lawyer, though, and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night either. Interesting post, though. Maybe someone who knows more can answer. God knows we got enough of those on here. Including me. :)
  • mplspugmplspug Posts: 16,016 AG
    Room 316?  Next to mine?  Because I agree completely.
    Just dropping grenades in OT
  • 1outlaw1outlaw Posts: 1,888 Captain
    @Florida Bullfrog would be able to answer this!
    Looking forward to his response!
    Jason :USA
  • cadmancadman Posts: 44,613 AG
     I think I remember a case where a felon used the stand your ground defense. 

    I found it.

    Winning a Stand Your Ground self-defense claim, a Palm Beach County felon no longer will be prosecuted for the 2006 fatal shootings of two young men outside a keg party.

    Palm Beach County Judge Barry Cohen on May 20 dismissed two manslaughter charges against John Thomas Dorsey, 28, denying prosecutors' bid to put him on trial for a third time for the deaths of Stephen Beau Bunting, 20, and John Lott, 19.

    "Florida law does not require a citizen to wait until suffering great bodily injury before resorting to deadly force since the purpose is to prevent such harm," Cohen wrote in his ruling for the man originally sentenced in 2009 to life in prison for the killings


    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-stand-your-ground-dorsey-case-over-20150526-story.html.

    Former Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski Posts: 16,813 AG
    there you go
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • cadmancadman Posts: 44,613 AG
    The only issue with intoxication would be whether or not your decision making was compromised. If the other guy had a gun and was pointing it at you or there was video evidence, you might be o.k.. But if it was just your word, you better hope the evidence backs up your statements 100% or a prosecutor might go after you due to impaired judgement,. 

    Former Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 4,847 Captain
    edited July 2018 #8
    Fish Haid said:

    Am I allowed to stand my ground with deadly force even if I am carrying a concealed firearm without a permit?  Or, if I am not allowed to own a firearm...

    Let me start by stating I am a big supporter of the Stand Your Ground law in principle. I'm not a big fan of the statutes as written from a legal point of view because they were very poorly written. I think the original intent was lost on a plain reading of the statutes and now pride and politics won't let anyone admit that SYG needs to be tweaked so as to not be so legally convoluted.

    SYG provides two overlapping theories of when immunity should apply in 776.012 and 776.013. 013 addresses the home (as well as cars and other conveyances) while 012 addresses anywhere a person has a right to be. 013 doesn't let a convicted felon use a firearm in defense of one's self within the home, because its unlawful for a felon to possess a firearm and 013 has a provision that disqualifies unlawful activities. But 012 covers any activity, whether its unlawful or not, so long as the shooter is somewhere they legally have a right to be. That "right to be" includes one's home. So if a convicted felon was to use a firearm in defense of his home, 013 would disqualify him from immunity, but 012 would not disqualify him. So the felon should just pick 776.012 to rely on and ignore 776.013. 

    Its actually quite an asinine way to write the law. The original intent probably was to have 2 rules, one for in the home, and another for outside the home, that instead of overlapping simply complemented each other, and to not protect unlawful activities under either rule. The current results are absurd (and "absurd" is a term of art when used in statutory construction). Let's pretend a felon couldn't pick 776.012 over 776.013 for home defense, that the rules were very clearly written so that 013 is what must be applied with considering home defense and 012 must be applied when considering defense out in public. That still creates a situation where the felon couldn't use a firearm within his own home, but could use a firearm at the shopping mall. Wouldn't the reverse make more sense, that a felon may use a firearm in his own home but cannot use one at the mall? 

    As you've already guessed, the felon can still be prosecuted for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or the unlawful concealed carry person can still likewise be prosecuted for the unlawful carry offense. However, there's still a necessity defense that can be asserted ("I needed to have a firearm because my life was threatened"). That would very much be a jury question as to whether the Defendant proved the necessity or not (necessity is an "affirmative" defense and an affirmative defense puts the burden on the Defendant to meet a certain level of burden).

    I don't see where intoxication (alcohol) would automatically exclude SYG, but it wouldn't help. The judge is going to consider intoxication in weighing the credibility of the shooter. Intoxication by illegal drugs might effect a 013 claim if it implies the shooter was engaged in unlawful activity within the home, which of course the shooter can just switch to 012. 
  • Flats2blueFlats2blue Posts: 280 Deckhand
    Thanks Florida Bullfrog, I appreciate your expertise and explanation.
  • ferris1248ferris1248 Posts: 27,534 Moderator
     A great explanation  of what the law says. Thanks.

    "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole of the law. The rest is commentary."

    Rabbi Hillel (c20 BCE)

  • surfmansurfman Posts: 6,017 Admiral
    I'm not a big fan of the statutes as written from a legal point of view because they were very poorly written. I think the original intent was lost on a plain reading of the statutes and now pride and politics won't let anyone admit that SYG needs to be tweaked so as to not be so legally convoluted.




    This seems to happen a lot....
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • Florida Ex-patFlorida Ex-pat Posts: 586 Officer

    I have never read the SYG laws so I am not aware of the nuances.  In reading FB's response to the OP and the case Cad referenced people will need to be very careful about what they say.  If someone threatened you at some point verbally and stated they would hurt or kill you and they approached you at some point later it sounds like you would be justified (potentially) if you shot/stabbed or beat this person to death.  Very interesting stuff.

  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 4,847 Captain
    The evidence of reputation for violence is more of a self defense argument than a SYG argument, although I suspect that evidence could come in to a SYG hearing. Also, there’s a difference between reputation for violence and prior acts of violence, although I just looked at a case that says that either can come in during a jury trial in which self defense is raised correctly. 

    The biggest differences between SYG and traditional self-defense is that SYG is decided by a judge, while self-defense is decided by a jury, and the Defendant has no burden of proof in SYG, while in a normal trial a Defendant always has a burden of proof to establish self-defense that the State then has to overcome once established. 

    On a common sense level, SYG is self-defense by another name. It just plays out legally much different than regular-self defense. 
  • Florida Ex-patFlorida Ex-pat Posts: 586 Officer
    The evidence of reputation for violence is more of a self defense argument than a SYG argument, although I suspect that evidence could come in to a SYG hearing. Also, there’s a difference between reputation for violence and prior acts of violence, although I just looked at a case that says that either can come in during a jury trial in which self defense is raised correctly. 

    The biggest differences between SYG and traditional self-defense is that SYG is decided by a judge, while self-defense is decided by a jury, and the Defendant has no burden of proof in SYG, while in a normal trial a Defendant always has a burden of proof to establish self-defense that the State then has to overcome once established. 

    On a common sense level, SYG is self-defense by another name. It just plays out legally much different than regular-self defense. 
    That is interesting.  Thanks for the response.
  • cadmancadman Posts: 44,613 AG
    The evidence of reputation for violence is more of a self defense argument than a SYG argument, although I suspect that evidence could come in to a SYG hearing. Also, there’s a difference between reputation for violence and prior acts of violence, although I just looked at a case that says that either can come in during a jury trial in which self defense is raised correctly. 

    The biggest differences between SYG and traditional self-defense is that SYG is decided by a judge, while self-defense is decided by a jury, and the Defendant has no burden of proof in SYG, while in a normal trial a Defendant always has a burden of proof to establish self-defense that the State then has to overcome once established. 

    On a common sense level, SYG is self-defense by another name. It just plays out legally much different than regular-self defense. 
    Is Stand Your Ground just the one hearing or if a judge denies it, can the defense still use it at the jury trial. I ask, because of my link above and how the appellate overturned one conviction. I thought when the judge denied SYG, it became a self defense plea until I saw that. 

    Former Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 4,847 Captain
    edited August 2018 #16
    I depends on how you define SYG. In the minds of attorneys, SYG is generally referring to just the judge’s hearing. SYG is a type of immunity and immunity is a legal question for the judge to sort out. If a shooter loses a SYG motion for immunity, the defense then becomes self-defense in a jury trial and we usually distinguish that from SYG. 

    Here’s the big “HOWEVER”. The jury instructions for self-defense (called “Justifiable Use of Deadly Force” ) incorporate the language of SYG. The jury instructions are basically SYG regurgitated. But then again SYG is basically the traditional jury instructions regurgitated. The Castle Doctrine was already the law in Florida before SYG was passed. The notion that SYG enshrined the Castle Doctrine here is false. SYG just expanded it to outside the home or vehicle and created the immunity procedure and some presumptions in favor of the use of deadly force inside the home (such as presuming the perp is there to do harm by their presence alone).

    So if you go to jury trial, You get the substance of SYG but not the procedure. In other words, you can argue to a jury that you had the right to stand your ground, but you’re making the argument under the jury instructions as an affirmative defense you must make some sort of showing towards. And its really just the traditional jury instruction that’s been tweaked after the passage of SYG. 

    http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/jury_instructions/chapters/chapter3/p1c3s3.6.f.rtf



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