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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Reminder That Laws Don't Always Mean What They Say Comment
    Gregory Morris, 1/9/10 10:37:36 am
    Jon Gutmacher, author of the must-own book "Florida Firearms -- Law, Use & Ownership", discusses the immunity provisions in Chapter 776 of FL Statutes.

    Even though the rule seems to be stated clearly, any dispute over the facts means you'll have to prove your innocence anyway.

    The statute:
    A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:

    (a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle...
    The law was intended to give a Florida homeowner immunity from prosecution in the event that he defends himself within his own home. In reality, if either the intruder lies to police (assuming they are alive) or the police see any evidence that your story isn't 100% accurate, you will be forced to defend yourself in court regardless of the immunity provision.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

    Reminder That Laws Don\'t Always Mean What They Say
    SanityShallPrevail, 1/15/10 8:29:15 am
    Simple answer, in two parts:

    1) Get to know your local law-enforcement, and what's in THEIR heads.

    2) In the case of an intruder - a) Make sure YOU are the only "eyewitness" - giving the scroat no opportunity to lie, and b) make sure he/she/it is dead INSIDE the place of intrusion before The Law arrives...

    And I speak as one who currently possesses a FL CCW.
    Reminder That Laws Don\'t Always Mean What They Say
    Gregory Morris, 1/15/10 2:18:35 pm
    That isn't necessarily the best legal advice. Yes, it is good to know LEs. Be friends with as many as possible. But when you shoot someone breaking into your house, don't expect your buddy on the force to be the one who shows up to investigate.

    Regarding #2... I hear that a lot, but quite frankly it is all wrong. In Florida, you absolutely have the right to defend yourself with deadly force both inside and outside of your house. I hear people say "drag the body inside". Dumb. That guarantees you'll see jail time, if not for murder, at least for tampering with a crime scene.

    Also, don't use excessive force. If you do, even if the initial force was justified (shooting the bastard), a followup shot to the noggin while he's laying on the ground will be prosecuted as murder in the state of Florida, and most of the rest of the nation.

    The key is to know the law, try your damnedest to avoid confrontation that might result in the use of deadly force, and if you must, only used a lawful level of force. Obviously, if you are involved in a deadly force situation, you should get a lawyer, then cooperate fully with law enforcement.
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