Stand Your Ground Burden Of Proof Lies With The Defendant
The Florida Supreme Court says the burden of proof in stand your ground defenses lies solely with the Defendant.
In State of Florida v Jared Bretherick, Bretherick an Indiana tourist on his way to Disney world, pointed a gun at an alleged aggressive driver. Bretherick was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Bretherick claimed he felt threatened by the other driver, justifying the threat of force.
The State disagreed and denied Bretherick immunity from prosecution. Bretherick appealed his case asserting that Florida's requirement that defendant bear the burden of proof for self-defense during immunity hearing was improper.
The majority opinion can be read here. Justice Canady's dissent can be read here.
This decision by no means closes the argument on burden of proof in a Stand Your Ground case. Based on Canady's strong dissent, it is expected that even with the majority opinion, Stand Your Ground immunity challenges will still be challenged in the State's Supreme Court and beyond.
If you would like more information on Stand your Ground defense, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys for a free consultation.