Self-Defense Law

You Protected Yourself, Now You’re Being Charged

Our Self-Defense Lawyers Are Experienced

As much as you wish the incident had never happened, you did the best you could in a terrible situation, and now you need the protection of self-defense law. You had to defend yourself or another, so you took action. A person was injured or killed. You now face a criminal investigation or charges. You did the right thing, but you need to protect your legal rights and freedom. Panella Law Firm can stand by you and make sure you get every legal protection possible.

If you’re charged with a crime involving force, including murder, you may find that self-defense law or stand your ground laws could provide you a defense. In some circumstances, actions that might be criminal (hitting another person) are acceptable depending on the situation (you’re defending yourself). Florida’s self-defense and stand your ground laws spell out when the use of force is lawful.

Skilled Legal Help with Self-Defense in a Criminal Case

There could be many defenses to an assault, battery or even homicide charge, including that you acted in self-defense. Self-defense in a criminal case is considered an affirmative defense. With this approach, you wouldn’t deny that you used force. Your defense would be that you used force and acted lawfully. There are three conditions where this applies:

  • It was reasonably necessary to prevent yourself from being imminently killed or injured.
  • You were reasonably protecting another from imminent death, great bodily harm, or the use of unlawful force.
  • You were reasonably acting to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.

If you were involved in an incident where you used self-defense, talk to our self-defense lawyers to learn about your legal options. Don’t leave your future to chance. Leave the legal strategy to us.

Self-Defense Law Protects Against Unfair Prosecutions

If you believe your actions are covered by self-defense laws, it is essential to understand in which conditions those laws apply. Under Florida law:

  • You can use, or threaten to use, force, but not deadly force, if you reasonably believe it’s necessary to defend yourself or another against imminent, unlawful force. You wouldn’t need to retreat before using, or threatening to use, force.
  • You can use or threaten to use deadly force if you reasonably believe it is necessary to use such force to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to yourself or another.
  • You can do the same to prevent the imminent commission of a “forcible felony.” This includes murder, manslaughter, sexual battery, robbery, burglary, arson, and kidnapping. It also covers aggravated assault, battery, and stalking.
  • Under certain circumstances, you do not have a duty to retreat and can stand your ground if you are not engaged in criminal activity at the time and you are in a place you are legally allowed to be.

Another Florida stand your ground law sets out when using force is justified to “stand your ground.” In the below situations, a use of force may be legal.

  • If a person is in a dwelling or residence where the person has a right to be, he or she has no duty to retreat.
  • He or she has the right to stand his or her ground and use, or threaten to use, nondeadly force if there’s a reasonable belief it’s necessary to defend himself, herself or another against imminent, unlawful force.
  • Deadly force can be used or threatened if he or she reasonably believes it’s needed to prevent imminent death, great bodily harm, or the imminent commission of a forcible felony.

Because there are several scenarios covered by self-defense laws in Florida, don’t rely on your own interpretation of the laws to know whether or not they apply to you. Your future is at stake if you are charged with a crime for your use of force. Get help from our knowledgeable self-defense lawyers to find out how the laws apply to your situation. Our team at Panella Law Firm has deep experience with self-defense cases, so give our skilled self-defense attorneys a call at 407-233-1822. We’ll evaluate your case and explain your legal options.



Self-Defense in a Criminal Case Can Be Complicated

Whether self-defense applies to a situation depends on the facts, which could be interpreted in many ways. Such cases are complex. To help you understand, learn about different scenarios in which self-defense is used. Some cases where self-defense is an issue include:

  • If someone is breaking into your car, you yell at him, he starts running away, and you shoot him in the back, is it self-defense? If the person is escaping, was the shooting needed to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to yourself? Would it be justified to prevent another burglary?
  • Michael Drejka was found guilty of manslaughter after shooting and killing Markeis McGlockton after a confrontation at a Clearwater convenience store. Drejka argued with McGlockton’s girlfriend about using a handicapped-accessible parking spot. McGlockton shoved Drejka to the ground. Drejka took out a pistol and shot him. Video surveillance showed McGlockton was backing away from him when he fired
  • You’re sitting in your car when a neighbor approaches. The two of you argue. You pull out a pistol and your neighbor punches you. You shoot him, then drive away. Is the neighbor defending himself or are you protecting yourself?
  • You’re in bed with your girlfriend. You notice you’re being spied on through a window. You run outside, start a fight with the man outside, and beat him to death. If your privacy was violated does that justify starting a fight? If you fear you’ll lose the fight you started and be killed, is it self-defense if you kill the other person first?

Our skilled self-defense lawyers have the knowledge of the law you need to recognize when a use of force in self-defense is lawful. These examples show that complex cases are best handled by a defense attorney with experience.

Florida Stand Your Ground Law and Self-Defense Claims May Protect You

If you’re charged with a crime, but you acted to defend yourself, you need an attorney who can tell your story effectively. Attorney Michael Panella knows how to win self-defense cases and will identify the best strategy in your case. He has used these defense strategies successfully in the State v. George Zimmerman case and the State v. DeRossett case.

Because of Attorney Michael Panella’s high-profile success in the DeRossett case, he is the go-to defense attorney for these types of cases. Courts have issued opinions based on the DeRossett case, in which his client faced 3 counts of first-degree attempted murder after a botched sting operation with undercover law enforcement officers at his home. The Fifth District Florida Court of Appeals issued an order granting immunity and a writ of prohibition in the case. This means that Attorney Michael Panella’s client, John DeRossett, had all charges against him dismissed and he is a free man. After a four-year court battle, Panella Law Firm’s legal expertise and determination led to this favorable outcome. John DeRossett is immune from any future prosecution in this case. To read the court’s opinion on this case please see:

If the case goes to trial, we will do everything possible to establish the facts of the confrontation, including the use expert testimony if necessary. We will craft your story so the judge or jury members will see events as you saw them. They will understand your perspective, feel your fear, and sympathize with your impossible situation. Fighting off an aggressor who is threatening you or your family is a nightmare. You shouldn’t face punishment for doing the right thing.

Contact Attorney Michael Panella

Need a criminal defense service? Turn to Panella Law Firm and contact us today with your question.

Get Help for Your Self-Defense Strategy When You Need It Most

If you’re under investigation or are charged with a crime, call our team at Panella Law Firm now to schedule a consultation. We can discuss what happened, the issues you face and possible defenses, including Florida stand your ground law. We will treat you with respect, explain every step of the legal process, and answer your questions.

Don’t risk your freedom and your ability to support your family by trying to defend yourself in your legal case, especially when the potential penalties are so severe. Attorney Michael Panella is a seasoned attorney who is passionate about representing your interests and keeping you informed about your case. Protect yourself and your family with help from Panella Law Firm in Orlando, FL. Call us at 407-233-1822 today.

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