Day and Night: Murder or Self-Defense in Florida?

We all know that nighttime can be scary. In some states daytime could affect whether or not your use of deadly force in self-defense is justified. In Florida, the use of defensive force or deadly force is not controlled solely by the rising and setting of the sun.

This is especially true if you use deadly force in one of the locations subject to the Castle Doctrine, such as a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or in response to a forcible felony enumerated by statutes such as murder, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or arson. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to use deadly force, it must be reasonable under the circumstances.

One of these circumstances will most certainly be the visibility of the threat you encountered. Generally, jurors will understand that the night amplifies the threatening nature of a criminal encounter. Is a weapon concealed in the darkness? Are there other accomplices lying in the shadows? These questions borne out of instinctual fear of the dark will surely be persuasive with those who judge your reasonableness.

If you have any questions, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak with an Independent Program Attorney.

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