Author Topic: FL Q: Revised FS 776 - Duty to Retreat  (Read 774 times)


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FL Q: Revised FS 776 - Duty to Retreat
« on: June 27, 2017, 10:44:39 AM »
Under the revised law just signed by the governor, do I now have a duty to retreat in certain circumstances if attacked in my vehicle?  FS 776.013(1) mentions only a dwelling or residence.  Vehicles are not mentioned, but are mentioned in 776.013(2)(a).  Comparing these two, it seems the use of deadly force is justified in the latter, but a duty to retreat exists in the former because vehicles are omitted from the wording.  It appears if I am in my vehicle a duty to retreat would exist in certain circumstances.

Also, do I have a duty to retreat from my front or back porch if threatened with deadly force?  Does it make a difference if the porch is enclosed?




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Re: FL Q: Revised FS 776 - Duty to Retreat
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 09:44:41 AM »

While it is true that Florida Statute 776.013 has been modified, the modifications have no real effect in actual practice.  The legislature removed the need to be attacked in your residence or a dwelling, and only required your presence in said place.  Further they eliminated vehicle from this section.   Therefore, in a residence or dwelling, one only need be present and reasonably believe that the use of force (non-deadly or deadly) is necessary under the circumstances to prevent the unlawful use of force or prevent imminent death or great bodily harm respectively.

Although vehicle has been removed from this section, other Florida Statutes such as 776.012(2) still preserve the ability to stand your ground and NOT retreat when in a vehicle.

(2) A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.

Therefore, you still would have not duty to retreat were you in a vehicle.  In fact, as long as you are not breaking the law, you never have a duty to retreat in Florida before using or threatening to use force including deadly force as long as it is justified under the circumstances as described in 776.012, 776.013, and 776.031.  The protections of the castle doctrine, however, only apply in your residence, a dwelling, or an occupied vehicle.

To be clear, you would have no duty to retreat outside of your home, or on the porch whether or not it is enclosed.