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Old January 26, 2010, 10:52 AM   #29
Senior Member
Join Date: January 8, 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 368
(d) The justified use of reasonable and proportionate force under this section shall constitute a full and complete defense to any civil action brought by an intruder or attacker against a person using such force.
Paragraph (d) is a critical part of the statute posted by wpcexpert! Some states (like NC, for example), have statutes providing that the homeowner does not have to retreat, and providing a presumption that someone attempting to forcibly enter one's residence is a threat justifying use of force up to deadly force in self defense. However, that covers only the criminal aspect of the use of deadly force. The civil aspect is equally if not more important. Escaping criminal prosecution is nice, but you could still be ruined financially by civil liability, as others have noted.

Florida's statutues provide that the justifiable use of deadly force in defense of self is a complete defense to criminal and civil liability:
776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.--

(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term "criminal prosecution" includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.

(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney's fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).
The sections referred to in section 776.032 pertain to (a) use of force in defense of person, (b) home protection, and (c) use of force in defense of others.

I think Florida's statutes are a model that we (firearm owners) should advocate in our own states.

Maybe I'll just move to Florida.

DogoDon is offline  
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