Self-Defense – Non-Deadly Force

Florida Statute Section 776.012: “A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force…”

The first portion of Florida Statute Section 776.012 addresses a specific set of force that a person may use – non-deadly force. This is important, because only those claiming self-defense with the use of non-deadly force can seek refuge under this statute. There is a statute that addresses deadly force, however, this is contained in another portion of the Florida Statutes (and will be discussed in a future blog post). To understand what actions fit into the definition of non-deadly force, we look to the Florida Jury Instructions for the Justifiable Use of Non-Deadly Force (instruction 3.6(g)). The Jury instruction defines”non-deadly force as ”

“Non-deadly” force means force not likely to cause death or great bodily harm.” On the opposite end, Florida Statute Section 776.06. definies “deadly force” as ”force that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm.” So, any use of force that This Section also gives examples of acts that constitute deadly force. Therefore, this vital element of Florida Statute 776.012, like many aspects of the law, will depend on the actions an individual has taken, and the circumstances surrounding those actions. If you have questions about whether or not the facts and circumstances surrounding your case meet the elements of Florida Statute 776.012, you should consult an attorney.

*Disclaimer: This summary was prepared by The Guardian Law Firm and should be used as a reference only. Interested parties should contact an attorney before drawing legal conclusions.

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