The Warning Shot

Mon, Feb 10, 2014

General Legal Issues

Some rights reserved by The Knowles GalleryA warning shot is often fired on TV and in films. You even hear about them in real life. And many might think it is a legal thing to do. They are usually wrong.

The consequences of firing a warning shot depend on the state you live in, so we’ll just address Florida’s thoughts on warning shots.

Most of America now knows that Florida has the Stand Your Ground law because of all the attention it gets in the news. This law is put forth in Florida State Statute Chapter 776.  And we know it makes for a complicated legal battle.

But warning shots are something that many don’t know the consequences of or the legalities of. There are many stories of people who claim they have fired warning shots and then faced dire consequences. One story of warning shots in Florida that is most often heard about is the Jacksonville woman who got 20 years (and is now appealing)–the story is here.

There is some legislation in the works that may legalize some warning shots and explain what a warning shot consists of, etc. It is SB 448 and it has been moving up in the Senate. The Orlando Sentinel has more information about this bill.

There you will also read more about how Florida’s 10-20-Life law is affecting this type of legislation. The Florida Department of Corrections also has information on the 10-20-Life law here. This law affects many aspects of firing a gun, or even showing a gun, in Florida. Only time will tell if SB 448 will pass and what its exact wording will be.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith is a Lakewood Ranch, Florida attorney with SmithLaw Attorneys. He concentrates in bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area. Call 941-907-4774 to learn more and to ask about our free consultations.

Image: Some rights reserved by The Knowles Gallery


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