Threatened Use of Force in Florida

Wed, Mar 26, 2014

General Legal Issues

Some rights reserved by gre.ceres A while back we wrote a blog post about warning shots and how they are usually illegal. Now, Florida has started on a path that might allow warning shots.

This is because of Florida House Bill 89, which discusses threatened use of force. And threatened use of force often means a warning shot. Surprisingly, though, the bill does not actually use the words warning shot in it. According to 10News, One of the sponsors of the bill, Rep. Neil Combee, R- Auburndale, said he didn’t want people to think it’s okay to shoot off a warning shot just because of the bill, but hopes it defends people’s rights to do so.”

The bill does discuss how threatened use of force applies in only certain situations, such as a situation when you feel it was truly necessary and someone is threatening you in your dwelling or occupied vehicle. It goes further to discuss that another valid situation to use threatened force would be if someone is threatening to harm or harming your child or grandchild or other minor you are responsible for, in certain places.

However, the bill has many caveats where the threatened use of force is not acceptable. And much of the bill has been re-written or had text omitted. In addition, this is not the final version of the bill and the bill is not in place.

HB 89 has passed the Florida house, and now goes on to the Florida Senate where a similar bill has been in the works. There, these bills will be revised and voted on again. The House’s bill’s text and further information about the bill can be found on this page.

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

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