Florida Man Accused Of Murdering Jacksonville Teen Claiming Stand Your Ground Defense

Michael David Dunn, 45, has been charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the Nov. 23 killing of Jordan Davis. Dunn shot Davis after an exchange about loud music, which preceded Dunn firing eight to nine shots into the red SUV where Davis and three friends were sitting outside a Jacksonville gas station, striking Davis twice. Dunn has entered a plea of not guilty and remains in a Florida jail.

Jacksonville felony-violent crimes of this nature typically involve an action on the part of the accused that is unreasonable given the circumstances, but acceptable in the mind of the accused at the time. Unfortunately for the accused, in such instances, the legal system does not agree. s-JORDAN-DAVIS-SHOOTING-large.jpg

Under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, a person who is not in the commission of an unlawful activity and has a right to be at the place that they are has a right to meet force with force and not back down from a fight. The law also states that a person has the right to use deadly force if that person reasonably fears and believes it necessary to use deadly force to prevent imminent death. However, this defense is narrowly viewed and is only allowed to be used very rarely.

Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law does not create a new type of affirmative defense. The principle that person may use deadly force in self-defense if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm has been the law in Florida for well over a century.

Dunn claims he felt threatened by a shotgun that police never found emerging from one of the vehicle’s rear windows, Dunn has raised the specter of a defense centered around Florida’s now-infamous Stand Your Ground law.

In “Stand Your Ground” cases, the prosecutor will file the charges, and, at an appropriate stage, would file a Motion for Declaration of Immunity and Dismissal. The matter will then be heard at an evidentiary hearing, where the defense must show the accused’s entitlement to immunity by a preponderance of the evidence. If successful, immunity will be granted and the case will be dismissed. If unsuccessful, the prosecution will resume and the case will end by either plea or trial, where the application of self-defense principles under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law will be decided by a jury.

If one has been accused of a crime such as this, one should obtain an experienced attorney who knows the law and will make sure that the Motion for Declaration of Immunity and Dismissal is properly filed and strongly argued, and possibly having the case be dismissed.

When one has been charged with committing a crime like this, one has only one choice that one should feel they have to make. One should obtain an experienced Jacksonville felony-violent crimes defense attorney who has the trial experience and knowledge to properly defend one’s innocence.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source:Jordan Davis Shooting Result Of Florida’s Gun Laws, Opponents Say, Huffington Post