Florida’s standard ground law still confusing in light of Markieis Mcglocklon case

William R. Moore on Deadly Force and use of firearm to defend one' self

The recent Markeis Mcglocklon arrest is the latest long-line of controversial cases involving deadly force which is claimed to have been used in self-defense.

Criminal law used to require a person to retreat from a threat

The use of deadly force to defend oneself has always existed, however, under common law, the defender first had an obligation to retreat prior to asserting any type of legal justification. Florida’s standard ground law eliminated this duty to retreat which raised concerns as to vigilante justice throughout the state of Florida.

Two scenarios under Florida’s “stand your ground” law

Justification for the use of deadly force is presumed where such force take place in a person’s home or automobile. This fueled the fire in that many

An individual may use deadly force in any other place that they have a legal right to be where that person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to either himself or others, or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.

Threat of death or great bodily harm

I think we’re seeing here is either a misunderstanding or a loose definition of the “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm” claims William R. Moore

Florida courts have defined this as a justifiable belief that:

The assailant was attempting to murder them,

commit and aggravated assault upon them,

burglarize them,

a forcible felony,

sexual battery

etc.

False sense of security among Florida gun owners?

Florida has some of the most liberal concealed carry laws in the nation and it is been argued that the stand your ground law has created a somewhat false sense of security with regard to when you can draw a firearm.

You perceive a threat, doesn’t matter if your public, the law says that you’re justified in meeting force with force. If you justifiably fear great bodily harm then you can take a step further and use deadly force such as killing the assailant with firearm.

What about situations where you can’t justify a fear of great bodily harm or death?

What then of situations where someone is in fear of being pushed rather than being severely beaten or killed? How is the use of a firearm viewed under Florida law in that circumstance

There are many ways that you can use a firearm. Understanding that you should never pull a firearm unless you’re prepared to use it, you can still tell an assailant that you have a gun and that you’ll use it if necessary. You can show them that you have a gun and can actually pull that firearm. You can even take another step in point that gun at your assailant. All of these things can be done without firing a shot.

It’s interesting though that Florida’s standard ground of law doesn’t mention firearms in the statute rather only the term deadly force. This of course includes firearms, however:

What if someone fears that they are in danger of being battered but not justifiably to the extent that they are in danger of serious bodily harm, such as being pushed to the ground?

Can you draw a gun?

Florida courts have held that simply drawing the gun is not in itself considered the use of deadly force. Pointing a gun at someone does not in itself constitute the use of deadly force. Marty v. State in 2016, Rivero v. State,

This would seem to suggest that an individual can draw a firearm when they have a justifiable fear that any unlawful force is to be used against them no matter how slight. This would also allow for the drawing of a firearm to prevent a trespass on twins property.

Drawing a gun and firing it in the air as a warning shot does constitute the use of deadly force under Miller v. State. Florida’s standard ground law was amended however to allow the firing warning shot.

 

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Felony murder laws in Florida highly criticized and misunderstood

Broward Felony Murder Defense Attorneys Home

Florida adheres to felony murder rule despite other states in our nation having declared it unconstitutional. Most of our laws derive from governing rules considered to be inherent in nature hundreds of years ago. This system of criminal law was known as common-law which still stands as the foundation of our Florida criminal justice system. Together with modern criminal statutes, acts made criminal under Florida state law, regardless of their roots are often in sharp contrast to those of our neighboring states.

The highly criticized felony murder doctrine is one such criminal law strictly punished throughout the state. Although a rare offense due to its very nature, in recent years, this high level felony and accompanying prosecution has seemed to target children over the last decade… young ones. see change.org

While Broward Schools Bullying Laws and public service announcements warning of the dangers of same are the main focus of influencers and lawmakers, direct filing children into the adult prison system seems to just fly undetected.

Felony murder, although classified with other homicide/murder offenses, is not often easily accepted by large numbers of individuals who oppose the law due to its inherent and fundamental differences to that of its general offense class.

Broward County Felony Crime Lawyer Home
Strict Sentences the are almost unbelievable are being challenged by affected families of defendants

That being the act of killing another human being.

The primary distinction that is made when evaluating a criminal act and whether it falls within the category of offenses prosecuted as murder in Florida, is the distinction between a felony offense and that of a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor crimes are much lower in classification and severity then felony offenses. Misdemeanor crimes include but are not limited to:  shoplifting, DUI, some domestic violence cases, vandalism, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana, resisting arrest without violence and trespassing.

If you are confused about what actually constitutes felony murder in Florida, you are not alone. William Moore, a criminal defense attorney who has worked on several felony murder cases over the years claims that this is due to the fact that our felony murder statutes do not require any intentional act that is directly or indirectly aimed at even injuring another person. To further complicate matters, claims Moore, is the fact that under our current set of laws defendants can be charged with this most severe crime despite there being no act of negligence, carelessness, aggression, violence or intended victim. Little more than evidence of an act in furtherance of a felony during which time another individual lost their life is needed to proceed with charges that result in one’s spending the rest of their life in prison if convicted. Unless of course that conviction comes at a time in the perpetrators early years of life.

Fortunately, felony murder statute in Florida have a habit of landing smack dab on the heads of our youth. In 2011 some of the youngest individuals to ever be prosecuted with murder made their way onto the criminal courtroom stage. In response to family members and activists of these young condemned kids, lawmakers have done little if anything following the vast dissemination of knowledge, opinions and criticisms regarding this inherently unfair ancient rule. The countless websites and petitions have seem to have little effect on our stern criminal justice process. Other states in the nation however, have swiftly declared similar statutes unconstitutional. Other countries such as Germany and France never adopted such statutes even during the dark ages. As for homeland, England one followed a similar set of felony murder laws however has long since abolished them.

This is one of those tricky areas when it comes to criminal prosecution and defense. What would be hard-pressed to say that an individual who intentionally seeks out and commits a felony resulting in someone’s being injured or killed should be treated the same way as the perpetrator of a crime which resulted in no injury.

The thing that is important to remember about this criminal statute as opposed to other homicide related offenses is that the focus is on the qualifying criminal activity and that was the commission of a felony by the perpetrator.  If a prohibited act contains the necessary elements to bring charges of enhanced or felony crimes, felony murder charges may be filed if someone was killed or died during the commission of that underlying offense.  That is where all of the effort from a law-enforcement standpoint is focused from the onset.  Unfortunately for the perpetrators, this is not a difficult issue to determine. While there are technically several classifications of crimes under our Florida criminal justice system, the most basic classification is that of misdemeanor and felony.

see above for examples of misdemeanor offenses.

Felony offenses include but are not limited to: battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated battery, crimes involving firearms most drug crimes including possession of cocaine, possession of heroin and possessing prescription medication without a valid prescription, fraud and white-collar crime, sex crimes, sexual assault, rape, possession of child pornography, kidnapping, false imprisonment and more complex crimes such as the use of a computer or Internet to cure a meeting with a child for purposes of obtaining sex.

Florida Felony Murder Statues Illogical?

A review of over 300 felony murder cases throughout Florida indicated a strong pattern of conduct that in no way was tentative caused the injury or death of another whatsoever. The very last letter of the law seems to exclude all of the foundations that behaviors warranting punishment are founded upon.

It is not required that a person charged with felony murder acted recklessly, or wanton disregard or intended anything other than permission of separate and distinct crime.

Attorney William Moore has written extensively on similar Florida laws and social misconceptions with regard to condemned acts that are completely and utterly devoid of criminal intent.

 Do you need to speak with a felony crime attorney about your case?  Our criminal defense team  has helped thousands of individuals accused of committing crimes in Broward County for the last 20 years. Criminal defense attorney William Moore has built a reputation in South Florida since the mid-90s through consistent criminal trial litigation and a 100% focus on refining the art of criminal defense. Additionally, attorney Moore lectures on criminal defense strategy and tactical consideration. William Moore is known for his somewhat outspoken approach to the illogical implementation of certain gateway crimes such as felony murder, certain sex crimes and DUI manslaughter to name a few. For information about how to obtain either written, audio or video lectures and commentary specific to  Florida’s often in adequate approach to criminal justice along with the erosion of our constitutional rights with regard to certain Florida criminal offenses contact our office directly.

We see these most challenging issues confronted by prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys alike in the DUI manslaughter arena. These cases are so troubling in that one family sits with a prosecutor and has lost a child while another family supports their son or daughter who used the terrible misjudgment after having a drink or two and got behind the wheel.

Many people don’t realize but a DUI resulting in death generally winds up being a six year and up sentence for negotiated cases. Meaning that the case is not taken to trial by the defendant. When we deal with our Florida kids who used poor judgment we add another great loss onto an arty tragic event.

It doesn’t end there according to criminal defense lawyers that we spoke to in the Broward County area. The social stigma and feelings of the general public are very strong when it comes to hurting another while operating a motor vehicle despite being impaired. College age convicts and younger never quite recover according to one Broward County DUI court judge.

This is another example of extreme penalties for behavior that obviously lacks the requisite criminal intent toward such sanction. Most people think nothing of their neighbor uncle who has one too many and drives home. Everyone wakes up the next day and little is said about it if anything. Take that same neighbor or uncle following an accident where there are signs of impairment and the general public becomes consumed with the very primitive and illogical drive to condemn the same act.

Societal problems such as these really shed light on how far modern civilization has to go before we are even able to understand the most common problems that we all deal with on a daily basis.

Attorney William Moore maintains a criminal law firm in Broward County Florida where he has practiced for the last 20 years. Attorney Moore built a reputation in South Florida for his work defending hundreds if not thousands of DUI defense cases, focusing on the vast and complex method that Florida both prosecutors and defense driving under the influence charges. Attorney William Moore, to date has tried over 200 criminal DUI jury trials successfully. In recent years, attorney Moore has focused on defending drug crime in the wake of South Florida’s prescription medication epidemic and pain clinic infestation.

William Moore can be reached for comment by contacting:

William Moore

William Moore Criminal Defense Attorneys

1 Financial Plaza #2500

Fort Lauderdale FL 33394


(954) 523-5333

 

Recently a question was submitted to our criminal defense firm in Broward County specific to Florida law which makes it a first-degree felony whereby a death occurs during the commission of a felony.

Question:

Can someone be charged under Florida’s L any murder statute when a death occurred during but not because of another’s commission of a misdemeanor offense. Does the term felony in felony murder mean that the crime had to be a felony?  If so does the death have to be related to the furtherance of that criminal act?  the specific facts of the case that I’m asking about involve the theft of an item valued at under $300. In fact the fair market value of the stolen item in question was only $75 at best. In all actuality the total loss came to less than $30 because the suspect dispensed the contents of said stolen item in a neighboring apartment complex ( fire extinguisher).  The cleanup required to return the stairwell of the neighboring complex to its original state was somewhere between 150 and $200. How can they add all of this up when the prosecution’s intent is clearly to justify the filing of felony murder charges against my nephew.

 

Answer:

I’m sorry to hear that your nephew is facing such serious charges for what is so often nothing more than an active poor judgment. Based on my experience, most people do not realize that Florida has enacted specific criminal statutes with respect to enumerated items such as fire extinguishers.  in your nephew’s case the fair market value of the fire extinguisher and cleanup is not at issue rather is the fact that theft of a fire extinguisher is classified as a felony offense regardless of how much the particular extinguisher cost the apartment complex. These laws were enacted for the sole purpose of ensuring the safety of individuals living in multi single family home residences such as duplexes and apartment buildings. Specifically the ability to extinguish fire before anyone is injured. I personally have never heard of a case whereby residents suffered injury following a fire that happened to occur immediately after one of the neighborhood kids stole a fire extinguisher. Unfortunately all of our Florida laws don’t make sense in practical application despite lawmakers having good intentions.

Being the theft of a fire extinguisher is a felony offense, this would qualify… just barely.

I’m surprised to learn that prosecutors are actually seeking felony murder charges on this, however, I did not see any information about what caused injury or death to another resident if that’s even how this fact pattern played out.

Nonetheless, if someone lost their life due to the dispensing of chemicals from a fire extinguisher that had just been stolen, I am afraid that Florida law would allow for prosecution under felony murder.

I would like more information about this case so I can give you better advice and evaluation of the charges that your nephew may face. If you are interested in having me look into this further please email William Moore at wrdefense.com

please include any and all police reports, statements and information that you may have regarding this case. Also let me know your nephew’s  exact age. I will get back with you as quickly as possible once I receive information.

Sincerely,

William Moore

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Girlfriend Arrested in Police Officer Death

Scott Weiland and wife crimes

The girlfriend of a veteran Fort Lauderdale police officer found dead in Pembroke Pines was arrested Wednesday and charged with second-degree murder.

Criminal Defense
Pembroke Pines police spokesman Capt. Al Xiques said. “We felt that was the best way to place her into custody.”

Tiniko Thompson, was arrested and booked at the Pembroke Pines Police Department today in connection with the death of her boyfriend, a South Florida Police Officer claims Sun-Sentinel reporters.

A voluntary surrender was negotiated by her criminal defense lawyer. Such surrenders are often negotiated by lawyers in order to avoid the surprise and danger of serving a warrant. This is common and makes sense when it is known that an arrest is to be made and a defendant wishes to enter police custody without incident – Attorney William Moore, Broward County.

Continue reading “Girlfriend Arrested in Police Officer Death”

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Justifiable Homicide in Florida

South Florida homicide defense Law Firm

Justifiable Homicide will Result in No Charges Being Filed

In exceptional circumstances, a homicide may be considered legal according to our Broward Criminal Lawyers. The Florida Criminal justice system has provided an exception for certain killings that may otherwise be termed as murder or manslaughter. These killings are known as justifiable homicide. One of the key examples of legal homicide is killing in justified self-defense or in justified defense of someone else. A homicide may be deemed justified if the circumstances demanded an action in self-defense or defense of another person, and there was reason to believe that inaction may have resulted in serious physical harm to that other person.

The second condition to be fulfilled is that the state laws must provide for the use of lethal force in such specific situation. Most state laws permit justifiable homicide where the victims are forced to defend themselves or other persons from serious threats such as murder, rape, or armed robbery. Criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale may be able to offer professional advice to people who may have a case for legal homicide.

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First and Second Degree Murder Defense Lawyers in Florida

criminal homicide attorney William R. Moore

The most serious form of criminal homicide is first degree murder. Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale explain that in a typical case, first degree murder is both pre-meditated and intentional. Pre-meditated may refer to a short term plan or a long term plan to kill the victim. The intent of the murderer does not necessarily have to focus on the victim. If the murder intended to kill a particular victim, but accidentally killed another person, the murder is still considered to be pre-meditated and intentional. Under most state laws, a first degree murder is an unlawful killing that is both pre-meditated and willful, which means that the murderer had planned or was lying in wait to kill the victim.

Florida Criminal Lawyer William Moore

Defense Lawyers in Florida explain that in a case of homicide where the killer lacked pre-meditation but had an intention to kill the victim, it may be considered second degree murder or voluntary manslaughter.

The charge will depend upon the laws of the particular state. Such killings are typically described as happening in the heat of the moment. Second degree murders are intentional killings that are not pre-planned or pre-meditated. Such killing must also be caused due to the killer’s lack of reasonable concern for human life and dangerous conduct, in order to be called second degree murder. Criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale may be able to offer legal advice to people accused of second degree murder.

Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter

Manslaughter refers to an unlawful killing that does not amount to murder According to Criminal Defense Lawyers Fort Lauderdale. Involuntary manslaughter is the lowest degree of manslaughter. In this case, the killer had no intention to kill any human being, but happened to kill the victim out of conduct that was either reckless or criminally negligent. A common example of involuntary manslaughter may be a DUI accident that kills a victim. In this type of a killing, the offender engaged in criminally negligent behavior by driving drunk, but had no intention to kill anyone.

Voluntary manslaughter, on the other hand, usually involves an intention to kill, but no intent prior to the moment of killing. In other words, such an offense may occur without any forethought and in the heat of passion. The circumstances surrounding the killing are the key in such case to determine the charge of voluntary manslaughter. If the circumstances were such that it was reasonable for the offender to become mentally disturbed or emotionally agitated, it may be considered a case of voluntary manslaughter. Offenders may seek legal assistance from criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale in such a case to establish their defense. If racist epithets or the threatening of someone else’s child was involved, this is reasonable that a normal person could become severely distraught and lash out.

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Homicide in Florida: Criminal Law Explained

Law Related to Homicide in Florida and Explanation by William Moore’s Florida Criminal Lawyers.

A homicide refers to the killing of a human being. Murder and manslaughter are homicides that are in violation of the criminal law but by different degrees. However, it is not necessary that every homicide is a crime. Killings that may be committed in self-defense that can be justified are not considered criminal and therefore not a homicide. Manslaughter and murder are illegal killings, with the gravity of the crime represented by the multiple degrees of each. Persons charged with homicide in Florida will obviously devote a great deal of time in chosing a lawyer to protect their rights under the law. William Moore, Criminal Defense Lawyer Fort Lauderdale

Not all Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers are Experienced in Defending Cases of Homicide in Florida

If someone is trying to steal your car and then run you over with it, you have the right to shoot that criminal out of self defense. This is what the criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale will inform you about. But the situation is not always cut and dry and is one reason you should consider having outstanding criminal legal counsel at your side and speaking on behalf of you. If the suspect was not actually in your car and did not know you had a gun or that you were even there and you opened fire, this could be another situation. No one feels sorry for a criminal but perhaps some warning could have been given while the police were called or on their way. If the suspect is stepping towards you, giving you no room to maneuverer, carrying a hammer in a threatening manner, and perhaps issuing threatening verbiage, this makes it easier to defend your case that you had to use whatever means to put this person down – anywhere from shooting them or hitting them with shovel.

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Florida Murder Defense Attorney Defenses in Cases

Florida murder defense attorney approach in defending homicide cases is done through experience which is limited to very few practitioners.

Florida murder defense attorney case defenses

There are certain circumstances under which the death of the individual took place, which can provide grounds for pleading to a lesser charge. The Florida murder defense attorney can try to prove the following circumstances:

•There was no use of deadly weapon/s.

•The defendant was overcome by passion, when the act took place.

•The act took place because of extreme provocation.

•The act was not committed in an unusual or cruel manner.

•Death occurred due to an accident.

•Death was caused by vehicle accident.

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Florida Homicide Defense Attorney Cases (part 2)

Defense Investigation by Attorney William R. Moore in Broward County, Florida

In a murder trial, our Criminal Lawyers in Broward may attempt to establish either that murder was not committed by them, there were special circumstances that resulted in the death of the individual concerned, or that the penalty being sought by the prosecution does not fit the crime. Intentional killing of a human being in an unlawful manner is legally defined as murder. However, a case of murder is quite complex and murder charges are further divided into different degrees of felony offenses in Florida, and other types of murder charges. The categorization will depend on the circumstances of each case, and defenses will be built accordingly. – South Florida homicide defense attorney

Continue reading “Florida Homicide Defense Attorney Cases (part 2)”

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Follow Up: Death Penalty Sought for Casey Anthony

Florida criminal case on casey anthony criminal trial attorney

Broward criminal lawyer William Moore has been following the Casey Anthony saga since it began last summer. A little girl, Caylee Anthony, was not quite three years old when she disappeared. The girl’s grandmother reported her missing in July after she could not extricate information about Caylee’s whereabouts from her daughter Casey.
For months, the news media has reported on this story. Casey was arrested in connection with Caylee’s disappearance in October. She was charged with the first-degree murder of her daughter. Making the case more problematic for the prosecution, however, was the fact that Caylee’s body had not been located. According to Broward criminal attorney Moore, not have her remains makes it more difficult to prove that she is even dead. Additionally, it makes forensic research difficult for detectives and the state’s expert witnesses. The information found on or near human remains can lead to a conviction – or an exoneration – in murder cases.

Caylee Anthony’s remains were eventually located very near to the Anthonys’ home in December. Casey Anthony maintains that she left her daughter with a baby-sitter by the name of Zenaida Gonzalez and that she had not seen the girl since. Gonzalez has filed a civil lawsuit against Casey Anthony for defamation, saying that the accusations “ruined” her entire life. She says she has never met Casey Anthony or Caylee and that she certainly was not entrusted with the toddler to care for her.

Initially, the State Attorney’s Office indicated that it would not seek capital punishment for the murder of Caylee Anthony. However, that was shortly before Caylee’s remains were found. Now, prosecutors have backtracked from their earlier position: they stated this week that they will seek the death penalty for Anthony.
The news comes as a surprise to many familiar with the case. Few women ever face the death penalty in the United States, making Casey Anthony’s case unusual and even more likely to attract media attention. Prosecutors say the death penalty is necessary. In a filing with the court, they stated that the “aggravating circumstances” of Caylee’s death make the death penalty a more viable option.

Bob Jarvis, a professor at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, believes prosecutors may be pushing for the death penalty for leverage. Anthony has been unwilling to plead guilty. He believes that even if she is convicted by a jury, they will not be inclined to execute her. “We don’t execute women in Florida. Juries find it very difficult to send young women to death row,” Jarvis said.

Continue reading “Follow Up: Death Penalty Sought for Casey Anthony”

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