The Law Offices of Elaine E. Lukic
20 Years Experience
Former domestic violence & sex assault prosecutor
Free Consultation 24/7
Toll Free: 800-478-8859
Menu Contact
"The Highest Rate Of Acquittals and Dismissals" — Equal Justice Foundation

Be wary of defending yourself in a domestic situation in Florida

Could you be charged with a weapons crime in Florida just for trying to defend yourself, in your own home?

It's absolutely possible. In fact, at least one Florida woman spent three years in jail and two more on home arrest while her case was appealed.

The mother of three drew a gun and fired a warning shot into the ceiling in an act she claims was self-defense against an abusive husband against whom she had a valid restraining order. Instead of being treated like a potential victim, she was arrested, charged and convicted of a gun crime.

In Florida, gun crimes have -- until recently -- carried automatic sentences under the law known as "10-20-Life." Promoted along with the slogan "Use A Gun And You're Done," the law gave judges no discretion in imposing mandatory sentences. If you merely pulled a gun, you served ten years. If you fired a gun, you served 20. If you actually shot someone, you served 25 years to life.

Lawmakers insist that they never meant for the law to be used in cases where someone was merely trying to defend themselves and fired a warning shot without aiming at anyone -- but more than one Floridian was caught in that trap. Aside from the mother of three, another famous case involves the father of a 17-year-old girl who was sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot with a gun while trying to scare away his daughter's unwanted boyfriend.

Florida's governor amended the law in 2016, giving judges more flexibility in cases like these. However, Florida residents should still be wary. It's important to remember that "Stand Your Ground" failed as a defense in a domestic situation, and someone who might otherwise be considered a victim can quickly be arrested and charged with both an act of domestic violence of their own and a gun crime.

For more information on how to handle a domestic violence charge, contact an attorney promptly. You have a better chance of a successful defense by seeking help immediately if you're arrested.

Source: DemocracyNow.org, "Marissa Alexander, Jailed for 3 Years, Speaks Out on Intimate Partner Violence & Building Movements," May 04, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Learn How We Can Help

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Email us for a response

Palm Beach Gardens Office
Village Square Professional Park
800 Village Square Crossing
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

Toll Free: 800-478-8859
Fax: 561-656-2041
Map & Directions

Lakewood Office
200 Union Blvd
Lakewood, CO 80228

Toll Free: 800-478-8859
Phone: 303-809-3425
Fax: 303-569-2233
Map & Directions

Frisco Office
307 Main Street
Frisco, CO 80443

Toll Free: 800-478-8859
Phone: 970-668-3222
Fax: 303-569-2233
Map & Directions