What is Self-Defense in Florida?

Self-Defense, also called Justifiable Use of Deadly Force, is an affirmative defense in Florida. That means that the person arrested asserts the defense as an “excuse” for committing homicide.

In Florida, it is a defense to murder if the death resulted from the justifiable use of deadly force.

Deadly Force is defined as force likely to cause death or great bodily harm.

Deadly Force is allowed if you reasonably believe that the force is necessary to prevent your imminent death or great bodily harm or to prevent someone else’s imminent death or great bodily harm.

In using deadly force, you can’t be committing a forcible felony. You also cannot be the initiator of the violence unless:

The force used against you made you believe your were in imminent death or great bodily harm and you exhausted every reasonable means of escape.

Call our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys to discuss your legal rights at (904) 634-0900.