In a lot of criminal cases, those who have been accused of wrongdoing focus on defending themselves against the prosecution’s allegations by trying to poke holes in the prosecution’s case. While this may be an effective strategy in some circumstances, in others you need to be more aggressive in protecting your interests.
This may include raising an affirmative defense where you essentially admit to the taking the action in question but argue that you were legally justified in doing so. This is how self-defense works as a legal defense.
Florida’s self-defense law
If you’ve been accused of a violent crime, especially if it involves domestic violence, then you might want to consider whether you can successfully argue self-defense. Under Florida law, you can avail yourself of this defense if you can successfully show that you reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary to protect yourself from the imminent use of illegal force perpetrated upon you by someone else.
Of course, assessing what is reasonable under the circumstances is going to be a case-by-case determination, which means that you’re going to have to paint a clear picture for the jury if you hope to be able to show that self-defense was justified.
Limitations on the use of self-defense
It’s important to note that there are limitations on self-defense, too. If it’s determined that you’re the initial aggressor, for example, then you’re not going to be able to argue self-defense. It might also be difficult to successfully argue self-defense if the other person had disengaged from the altercation at the time that you used force.
Building the holistic defense that you need
Arguing self-defense can be a delicate matter. In order to put forth the best case possible, you’re going to have to know the law and how to aggressively apply it to the facts of your case. If you’d like some assistance in doing that, then now may be the best time for you to discuss your case with a criminal defense team that knows how to build these kinds of cases.