Use of deadly force by the armed Florida citizen
Use of deadly force by a citizen in Florida is governed by a separate set of laws from those that apply to law enforcement officers. This article covers the use of firearms.
While it is important that you know how to use your firearm of choice it is more important that you know when you may use it. Justifiable use of deadly force in Florida is outlined in the Florida statute Chapter 776, http://www.leg.state.fl.us.
When you may use deadly force is simply stated as the following: Deadly force may be used when your life or the life of another is threatened, or you or someone else is in danger of great bodily harm.
The term “deadly force” means force that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm.
A person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat. This applies to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony which may be in defense of person. It also applies if 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, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle. The person who uses this defensive force must know or have reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.
“Dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.
“Residence” means a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest.
“Vehicle” means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.
This has its roots in castle doctrine which is derived from English common law dictum that, “an Englishman’s home is his castle”.
The law also states that a person who uses force as permitted in this statute is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action.
Don’t take my word for all of this. Look it up yourself. Don’t be faced with the dilemma of choosing between being “judged by twelve” or “carried by six“.