What is the Stand-Your-Ground Law?
Chapter 776 of the Florida Statutes regarding the justifiable use of force includes the stand-your-ground law. This law essentially says that a person who is attacked on their own property—whether a car, residence, or vehicle—has no “duty to retreat.” Furthermore, the individual has the right to stand on his or her ground and can either use or threaten to use force. Florida passed the stand-your-ground law in 2005 and has seen an increase in self-defense claims.
Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman
Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin became a household name in 2012 after he was fatally shot by a then 28-year-old George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla. Martin was walking through a neighborhood he was visiting when Zimmerman noticed him and called the police to report suspicious behavior. While the police told Zimmerman not to approach Martin, the two got into an altercation which would result in the death of the teen. The case became a national sensation because Zimmerman was not charged at the time of the shooting as there was not sufficient evidence to refute his self-defense claim. Florida’s stand-your-ground law prohibited police from arresting him initially, but he was ultimately arrested, charged, and the case went to trial.
The stand-your-ground law has been subject to criticism and controversy since its creation, but the law was a hot button issue especially during and after the Martin and Zimmerman case. Although the situation was emotional, many were confused by what the stand-your-ground law actually functions to do. Although Zimmerman shot Martin, he was protected by the stand-your-ground law. Criminal defense attorney, Rohom Khonsari, commented on the Zimmerman and Martin case during the early stages in this interview from Channel 10 News. Khonsari pointed out that other than the neighbors that called 911, there were no other witnesses to testify who was responsible in the shooting. In the video above, Zimmerman gives his version of the incident in which he claims self-defense. Khonsari reiterated that if Zimmerman’s account was accurate and if those were the facts believed by the judge, then stand your ground absolutely applies.
Ultimately, when cases of this nature become media sensations, it may be difficult for the public to wade through the truth and fully understand certain laws and what they entail. Rohom Khonsari and his team of legal professionals understand the legalities around serious cases. If you are in need of legal advice or representation, contact Khonsari Law Group today.