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Self Defense Cases Involving Lethal Force: Finding the Right Lawyer

In the next few weeks, much of the nation will be following the Zimmerman trial. Although there will be a lot of talk about the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law, this case is really a traditional self defense case. Every aspect of the case will be interesting, beginning with jury selection and continuing through the decision whether Mr. Zimmerman will take the stand in his own defense.

Since the founding of this country, we have always enjoyed the right to defend ourselves. When our lives are in danger, we are free to use force – even deadly force – to protect and defend ourselves.

Although each state has enacted statutes regarding self defense, they are all essentially the same. Some states, however, have created a “duty to retreat”, hoping to dissuade unnecessary physical confrontations and reduce the risk of death or great bodily harm.

Unfortunately, those statutes have often resulted in innocent people being unfairly arrested and charged with criminal offenses including murder, manslaughter and aggravated battery. And, depending on the politics of the county where the confrontation took place, similar facts could result in different outcomes. For example, a lawful shooting in Miami-Dade County could more easily result in the innocent shooter being charged than, based on the same facts, if the shooting took place in Texas.

Some elected District Attorneys or State Attorneys are anti-gun. They, unfortunately, state that the while the police are and should be armed, law-abiding citizens should not. Fortunately, the United States Supreme Court recently stated that citizens possess an inherent right to be armed (under certain circumstances and with certain restrictions) based on the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

There is a saying that, to me, clearly explains the reality of why law-abiding citizens have the right to bear arms: “When every second counts, the police are only minutes away.”

I am very fortunate not only to be a Board certified criminal defense attorney for almost forty years, but that I have also trained extensively with two world-renowned firearms masters: Masaad Ayoob and John Farnam.

Those years of training with handguns, the use of deadly force, disarm techniques, handgun retention, and Kubaton training, have given me invaluable insight in cases involving the use of force and the use of deadly force. No law school instruction can equip a lawyer to properly defend cases involving deadly force without high quality, practical training from top experts. I have handled hundreds of cases, ranging from first degree murder, to second degree murder, manslaughter, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, to less serious charges involving a concealed firearm and other weapons (such as knives, batons, brass knuckles, weapons concealed in belt buckles, etc.).

Should you need the services of a criminal defense lawyer in a case involving the use of force, including deadly force, or involving weapons, be certain that your criminal defense lawyer is knowledgeable and experienced – not only in the law and tactics involving self defense, but knowledgeable in weapons and the techniques involved when deadly force is used. It is also essential if a shooting occurs, that your criminal defense attorney understands the dynamics of a shooting.

Please feel free to call my office to set up an initial – no charge – consultation. (305) 670-9919. I will be pleased to meet with you.

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