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What are my self-defense rights on my property?

Home is where we should feel the safest. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. However, knowing the rights you gain when you are on your own property may help you feel more secure.

If you are worried about a home invasion or you just want to know more about your property rights, read on to learn about self-defense laws on your property in Florida.

Protecting yourself in the home

Different states have different laws concerning how self-defense can be practiced and under which circumstances it is allowed to be practiced. Florida’s at-home self-define law operates under the castle doctrine.

The castle doctrine allows homeowners to use lethal force against intruders without being required to make any attempt to retreat from the scene. However, it is important to note that this only applies to one's home, place of business or other real property.

What actions warrant self-defense?

Because the need to practice self-defense depends on a number of circumstantial factors, there are no specific actions that warrant self-defense. Generally, you may practice self-defense on your property against any person using or intending to use force that is likely to cause death or severe injury to you, your family or a member of the household.

Under the castle doctrine, cases of self-defense in the home that results in a homicide may be fully acquitted and discharged if a judge deems the incident to be justifiable and excusable.

Protecting your property

The owner of real or personal property can use reasonable force to protect property from being damaged. Reasonable force is much different than lethal force, as reasonable force must be only the amount of force that is necessary to protect the property from harm.

If you have been involved in a self-defense incident or wish to learn more about related topics, such as getting a protective order or concealing and carrying a weapon, talk to a criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can help explain your rights, so that you feel secure.

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