Castle_Doctrine/Stand_Your_Ground Jeopardy?


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glummer
October 13, 2006, 04:00 PM
If a citizen makes a "good shoot" in self-defense, in a "Castle Doctrine" state, is there an official way that the decison is made permanent? If there is no trial, then there is no legal decision, is there?

In other words, if the DA declines to prosecute, can another DA, ten years from now, bring murder charges anyway? There is generally no statute of limitations on murder.

And what about the civil liability protection? If the perp's family/estate tries to sue, what, exactly, does the shooter reply? What, legally, does he point to?
Do these things vary by state?

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03Shadowbob
October 13, 2006, 04:20 PM
I am going to do my best to paraphrase here but Florida has the castle doctrine and if you shoot someone in your house, dwelling or car that is endangering your life or the lives of othersthen you can legally shoot and kill them without legal or civil liabilities. From the best of my knowledge

Jeff White
October 13, 2006, 05:20 PM
The way it's most often done here is in a Coroner's Inquest. An official cause of death is established by the coroner's jury. Another way is the Grand Jury.

If additional information comes to light and no charges have been filed, that doesn't mean that charges can't be filed later.

As for the civil suit protection, it may be a deterrant to keep a suit from being filed or it can be grounds for your attorney to ask for the suit to be dismissed. However if a judge looks at the suit and decides that the protections in the castle doctrine law don't apply in your case, that possibly your actions were grossly negligent, he can allow the case to procede. New York City's suit against the gun industry has been allowed to procede despite the federal law giving the firearms industry immunity against suits of that type.

Castle doctrine laws are not the blanket protection so many people believe them to be. You can and will be prosecuted criminally and held liable in civil court if your actions were clearly unreasonable.

Jeff

XDKingslayer
October 13, 2006, 05:41 PM
If a citizen makes a "good shoot" in self-defense, in a "Castle Doctrine" state, is there an official way that the decison is made permanent? If there is no trial, then there is no legal decision, is there?

Why do you think you need a "legal decision". You are innocent until proven guilty and if you are innocent, you need no legal decision.

If charges aren't filed against you by the police or district/state attorney's office, there is your legal decision. It was decided that you didn't break the law and if you didn't break the law you need no legal decision.

Can another DA/SA bring up charges 10 years later? More than likely they can. But I think the main question is going to be will they? And that one is more than likely not.

Considering I put 5 years into a State Attorney's Office, if charges aren't filed, they more than likely don't know you even exist. If charges were filed and you were found not guilty, more than likely the case has been closed and they aren't going to dig it up strictly for a witch hunt, which is essentially what it would be.

El Tejon
October 13, 2006, 06:35 PM
Criminally, yes, another "DA" (or PA, or CWA, or SA) could potentially (however unlikely) prosecute you. Practically it may be difficult unless the fact pattern is allegedly to have changed (often this is an angry ex-girlfriend or jailhouse snitch).

Civilly, a defendant shooter would answer the plaintiff's complaint by asserting self-defense. The statute of limitations on wrongful death/battery will likely be 2 to 10 years depending on state law.

Yes, these things vary by state.

camacho
October 14, 2006, 02:49 AM
The following is an excerpt from the this (http://www.floridafirearmslaw.com/florida-selfdefense-law-analysis.pdf) legal opinion on the recent changes in the Florida law:

“A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012; 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 the force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14) . . . . As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.”

Now, don’t take the “immunity” literally. You might still be arrested and prosecuted, although this new section is designed to lessen your
chances of this. At worst, if your use of force was due to an intruder’s unlawful and forceful entry pursuant to F.S. 776.013 – it appears that the only issues in such a case will be: (1) whether the person against whom the force was used was engaged in an unlawful attempt or unlawful entry into one of these places (ie: residence, dwelling, or occupied vehicle); (2) if the person using the force knew or had reason to believe this unlawful event was
happening; and if so, (3) whether any of the statutory exceptions ((infra) applied.

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