I would like to start this post by saying that I live in Florida. My opinions in this post are based on information that I have received from lawyers that practice in Florida. The law is your state will govern how ‘Stand your ground” is enforced.
I would like to pose some questions in the form of a scenario. This is a story about a man named Jed.
Late one evening Jed pulled up to an ATM at a local bank.
Three teens approached his vehicle.
The first teen approached the driver’s side window of his truck. The second teen walked up towards the passenger side. Both teens fired at him.
He returned fire striking the first teen sending the teen to the pavement. The other two teens ran off into the night.
He hopped out of his truck, grabbed the first teen’s gun, and sped away.
The first question. Would Jed be justified in using the Stand Your Ground defense?
Under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” laws, Jed has the right to meet force with force and don’t have to attempt to retreat if he was in danger of great bodily harm or imminent death. I am not a lawyer but based upon our scenario so far, it seems Jed would be justified.
Now let’s take our scenario a little further.
Jed had been shot twice and should have headed straight for the hospital. If he had done so, that’s where the story would have ended, given that Jed was were entirely justified in defending himself.
Unfortunately for everybody involved, instead of immediately attending to the gunshot wounds, he turned his truck around and returned to the scene of the crime
The videos from the bank’s surveillance cameras showed Jed returned to the bank’s drive-thru area about four minutes after foiling the initial attempted robbery. Without getting out of his truck, he used the first teen’s gun to shoot him again.
Here is our second question. Would Jed still be justified in using the Stand Your Ground defense? After all this is the same teen that had shot him not four minutes ago.
Jed had the right to meet force with force and don’t have to attempt to retreat if you’re in danger of great bodily harm or imminent death. He don’t have the right, however, to come back and fire more shots at his attacker after you’ve successfully defended yourself and gotten away.
So now Jed is facing charges, though not the charges you might expect.
Again, I am not a lawyer, but there have been ruling in similar cases.
The odd decision to grab the first teen’s pistol before driving away might ended up sparing Jed a murder trial.
Jed’s use of two different firearms might allow forensic investigators to determine that the fatal shots were fired with his original firearm.
If this was the case, the Stand Your Ground defense was still in effect.
Jed’s even more inexplicable decision to return to the ATM minutes later means he could be looking at 15 years in prison if convicted on the aggravated battery charges.
Our little scenario shows the complexity of the Stand Your Ground defense.
Use your firearm to defend yourself because you’re in danger of great bodily harm or imminent death.
Don’t use your firearm following the advice of Facebook warriors.