Beyond Stand Your Ground:
A Need For Immunity
In Other 2A-Related Cases

By Lee Williams. Mar 15, 2022

Florida’s Stand Your Ground statute and similar laws in other states can offer immunity from prosecution when someone uses deadly force to defend themselves, and affords them quick access to an appellate review if the case doesn’t go their way.

In other words, if a defendant involved in a defensive shooting invokes a Stand-Your-Ground defense, their case can be dismissed before a trial even begins if it is proven they are entitled to statutory immunity, or appellate judges can be brought in quickly to make sure the case gets handled correctly.

When a defendant files a Stand Your Ground motion, their case is put on hold. Prosecution is halted. The trial court must hold a “Stand Your Ground” hearing – a sort of mini trial – to determine whether the defendant’s use of force meets the standards for Stand Your Ground immunity. At this point, the burden shifts to the prosecutors, who must then prove by “clear and convincing evidence” why the defendant is not entitled to immunity from prosecution.

After this mini trial, the judge can either dismiss the charges or allow the case to go forward. However, if the charges are not dismissed, the defendant can file a Writ of Prohibition, which quickly bumps the case up to an appellate court for review. This writ can save the time it normally takes to get to the appellate level – usually as much as 18-months to two years – because it allows the defendant to forego a jury trial, sentencing and other delays and present their case directly to the appellate judges, who can affirm or deny their writ.

Stand Your Ground was created to protect people from unjust, malicious or politically motivated prosecutions after they acted in self-defense. .....


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