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Someone you may feel threatened by follows you..does this not give you the right to defend yourself if need be?
But the law is not what you have heard reported by the media. Florida’s SYG law provides that a person under attack can use force—including deadly force—against his attacker if he, “reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm … or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”
Several keys points. First, the threat must be deadly. It’s not just that you’re under attack. You must be attacked with sufficient force to kill you or cause massive bodily harm, or rape.
Second, it’s not enough that the victim believes he is under a deadly threat. His belief must also be reasonable, meaning that under the circumstances an objective observer would also conclude the victim could be killed or severely injured.
Third, SYG only protects victims; it does not apply to attackers. If you’re attacking someone, you cannot claim SYG as a defense for what follows.
And fourth, it doesn’t apply if you cannot retreat. If retreat is not an option, then the situation is governed by ordinary self-defense laws, not SYG laws
Under any version of the facts, Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law did not apply in the Trayvon Martin incident. If Zimmerman pursued a confrontation with Martin, then Zimmerman was an attacker and cannot claim SYG. If Zimmerman’s account is true that he was on the ground and Martin was on top of him, then retreat was impossible, so there would be no duty to retreat anyway. A victim in such a situation can use deadly force, but only if he reasonably believes he is being attacked with deadly force.
To our knowledge, that is the law in all fifty states. It was the law before SYG statutes were ever passed, and SYG did nothing to change it.
So why is this not common knowledge after all the reporting on the Martin shooting? Tragically, some anti-gun activists are misinforming the public. They are aided by media commentators who failed the public trust by not researching and understanding the SYG issue before presuming to editorialize on it.
Something the cops and attorneys all say around here regarding pet and property protection is that you are not justified in using lethal force to prevent theft, damage or harm to your property or pets. But the general situation is that you see somebody messing with your stuff or harming your dog and you react with "WTF, get out of here!!" At which point they either flee, not justification for deadly force, or they turn their attentions toward you, that is justification for deadly force.
Law is flawed and attempts to "fix" it never work. It's static definitions in a dynamic world.
Sucks for everyone involved.
I don't know about Florida, but most states will not let someone retaliate against simple assault with deadly force. Also the protection of property usually extends to someone breaking in your home/dwelling. your business, or car while you are inside. If a guy is breaking in to your detached shed 200 yards from the house you can't just shoot him on sight.
You can't just shoot somebody and say, "hey he stepped in my yard."