A recent Florida self-defense shooting has attracted mass media attention all over the nation and protests about this self-defense case in Florida. Florida resident, George Zimmerman, shot and killed a Trayvon Martin, 17-year-old, black Florida teenager in Seminole County, Florida. Zimmerman was part of a neighborhood watch group in his Florida neighborhood. He claimed that there were burglaries in his Florida neighborhood and suspicious activity. After witnessing what he believed was suspicious activity or possibly a crime being committed in Florida, he called 911. The 911 operator asked him to remain in his car instead of investigating any possible Florida criminal activity. He did not. Instead, he approached Martin. Somehow, a confrontation ensued, and Zimmerman shot Martin. Zimmerman is claiming that he used his gun in self-defense in this Florida shooting.
Florida Self-Defense Laws allow people to defend themselves in Jacksonville and other Florida cities. In some Jacksonville self-defense cases, this includes defending yourself with a gun, firearm, or any other weapon. Under Florida Statute 776, a Florida resident can act in self-defense and use non-deadly force to defend himself or another person. The person claiming self-defense in Jacksonville must reasonably believe that he or she must use force for protection and that the self-defense or violence conduct is necessary.
In Jacksonville, Florida’s self-defense law also allow a person to use deadly force when acting in self-defense. Jacksonville deadly force as self-defense can be used against the aggressor if the person that is acting in self-defense reasonably believes that he or she must act in this manner. The person acting in self-defense in Jacksonville must believe that the deadly force is needed to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm. Under Florida’s self-defense laws, a person can also use deadly force to prevent a forcible felony from occurring in Jacksonville.
As a Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer, I have experienced many Jacksonville self-defense cases in which a Jacksonville criminal defendant did what he or she needed to do to protect himself or herself from violence. Although I am a Criminal Defense Attorney in Jacksonville, I have seen the other side in which someone has argued that he or she was acting in self-defense in Jacksonville, and that was not really the case.
In Zimmerman’s Florida self defense case, he has not been arrested for the Florida shooting. Perhaps there are deeper racial issues, as some are claiming that Zimmerman has not been arrested in Florida, because Martin was black. In reference to this Florida self-defense case, “Martin’s family has said that they don’t trust the local police and want the Justice Department involved in the investigation. The FBI has indeed been in contact with local police about the shooting.” (Foxnewsinsider.com)
The local Florida police department has responded to the accusations that Zimmerman did not act in self-defense when using his firearm in this Florida shooting. The Florida police department’s chief has stated that Zimmerman acted in self-defense under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law.” Under Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, you can use a firearm, gun, or deadly weapon when acting in self-defense in Florida. However, the circumstances must be such that you believe deadly force (firing a gun) is reasonably necessary. The Florida police officers that are investigating Zimmerman’s Florida self-defense claim and the shooting of Mr. Martin have stated that Zimmerman acted under the Florida Stand Your Ground and self-defense laws. However, due to the circumstances, I am sure that further investigation into this Florida self-defense case will need to be conducted. If Mr. Zimmerman has not hired a Florida Self-Defense Lawyer, he should.