In assault and battery cases in Hollywood and other Florida communities, the defendant in the case will often allege that they acted in “self-defense” because they felt threated. In Florida, it is legal to use force when defending oneself or one’s property and under the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, Florida clarifies that people do not have to retreat if they are threatened.
Recently, HB89 was signed into law to clarify the rules. HB89 confirmed that all self-defense laws apply to situations where there is a threat of force and to situations where there is actual force. This means that in a situation where someone is threatened verbally or has warning shots fired at them they are protected to the same extent as someone who is subject to actual force.
HB89 also removes the mandatory minimum sentenced in cases where a person is found guilty of imperfect self-defense. In these cases, someone honestly believes that they are threatened but that belief turns out to be incorrect and an innocent person is injured as a result.
These legal changes may affect some legal cases in Florida. However, someone who has been injured in an assault and battery in Hollywood or another Florida community still has access to the civil court system and not just the criminal court system. In cases where someone is injured in an attack, the attacker may be charged in criminal court. Whether they are found guilty or not, the person who has been injured can still seek compensation through a civil court claim for any damages. These may include income loss, the cost of medical care, pain and suffering, and property damage. Whether a person claims they were acting in self-defense or not, they can still be held liable if their actions are found to be negligent and if their recklessness leads to injuries.
Often, these cases become situations of finger-pointing, with the accused claiming that the injured person did something wrong that provoked the attack. The attacker may allege that they felt threatened or that the injured party did or said something threatening. In these cases, it is important for the injured party to work with a personal injury attorney in Hollywood or their community. An attorney can hire investigators to interview witnesses and to otherwise seek evidence in the case.
Attorneys can also help find all liable parties in the case. In cases of violence, injured victims sometimes also have a case against the owner of the property where the incident took place. If a property owner knew of similar crimes in the area but failed to act to protect visitors to their property they may be held partly liable for injuries. This can be the case even in cases where the perpetrator is never caught.
Someone who has been injured may have rights under Florida law. If you have suffered an injury and would like to know what your legal options are, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free case assessment. Flaxman Law Group has been part of the Hollywood community for decades and has already successfully helped many victims of crime and violence get compensation for their injuries.