Self-defense is a tool many criminal defendants use to justify the actions of the accused when charged with murder, manslaughter, battery, or assault with a deadly weapon. The claims are, however, successful only in states that exercise that kind of law. The two theories used to defend self-defense actions are the castle doctrine and stand your ground law. They are very similar, and you must understand the differences before you can use them to defend yourself.

Castle Doctrine

State castle doctrine laws take your home as a castle from where you can use all manner of force to protect yourself from attacks. The force includes deadly force, and you don’t even have to retreat from the aggressor before legally acting in self-defense. It is important to note that the castle doctrine laws may differ from state to state, as do the self-defense laws.

The castle doctrine worked in Florida before 2005 and was commonly referred to as Protect your Castle law. It made it right for people to use deadly force to protect themselves against intruders attacking their homes. But if the situation is in a public place, this doctrine requires people to retreat to a safer place when possible. The law, however, vanished in Florida as the Stand Your Ground law was passed as the new self-defense law in 2005.

Stand Your Ground statute

The Stand Your Ground statute was adopted in Florida in 2005 and also allows the use of deadly force by individuals who have reason to believe they can use it to prevent great bodily harm or even death. The action can be to protect themselves or others in the vehicle, residence, or dwelling.

The major difference between the Castle Doctrine and the Stand Your Ground statute is that latter is not limited to self-defense at home but also covers defending yourself in other areas, including workplace, public, and vehicle.

Self-Defense As A Valid Legal Defense

Self-defense is indeed a valid affirmative defense to some criminal charges in Florida and most other states. A stand your ground attorney will easily take up a case and manage to defend your actions, even in domestic violence offenses. Under the law, when you kill in self-defense, you are charged with justifiable homicide. Because the claim can be tricky to raise, it is always best to let a defense lawyer handle the case. Remember, when charged, you will be required to prove without a doubt that your life was in danger and you took action to defend yourself from the lurking danger.

When working with the best criminal defense attorney, you will get legal advice on the specific laws in Florida. You can enjoy free consultations from a lawyer if you are lucky and get the legal representation you need at a friendly cost. If yours is a genuine case of self-defense, your criminal attorney should have an easy time piecing the evidence together to fetch freedom from your actions.

When looking for the best stand your ground legal representation in Florida, it helps to look at the track record of the criminal attorney you are about to hire. The law firms in Florida tackle all kinds of defenses; you can even find a drug defense attorney. It helps to know that the representative you are getting is familiar with the law and has a track record you can fully trust.

It is also important to be completely honest when recounting the incident so the attorney can create a winning case. It is up to the attorney to prove that you were not the aggressor, you are legally allowed on the property where the invasion took place, and that you were not involved in any criminal activity during the incident. This is information they can only get from you, and you must give it in detail and supporting evidence, if any.

Author's Bio: 

At Arias and Pereira, We handle all types of State and Federal Criminal charges, all types of Immigration-related matters, as well as Federal Litigation and Civil Denaturalization.