As you saw in Rear-Ended, Then Defended Part 1, no one was hurt, and our member Jeremy was neither arrested nor charged. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In Part 2, we will dive deeper into the law, where Independent Program Attorneys will explain the road rage self-defense laws from your state.
Watch the video below to see your Independent Program Attorney – James Phillips – explain the road rage self-defense laws for Florida.
Sherry: Welcome back to Part II of Rear-Ended, Then Defended. As you remember from the last video, Jeremy’s truck was surrounded by three hostile men after a minor accident.
Fearing for his son’s safety, as well as his own, Jeremy retrieved his firearm from his glove compartment to stop the attack. In this instance, Jeremy’s quick actions deescalated the situation and prevented further threat to him and his child. However, his decision to leave his vehicle while brandishing a firearm his decision to leave his vehicle while brandishing a firearm is not a lawful action in every state.
That’s why I asked your Independent Program Attorney to clarify the law where you live.
James: Under Florida law, Jeremy was justified in his actions. Florida statute: 776.012L allows an individual to use or threaten to use non-deadly force or deadly force depending on the facts and circumstances of the situation. A person is allowed to use non-deadly force when he or she reasonably believes such force is needed to prevent the imminent unlawful touching by another. This applies even when you are protecting a third person. Displaying a firearm is considered non-deadly force. In Jeremy’s situation, it would appear reasonable to believe the guys were going to unlawfully touch Jeremy or his son.
Furthermore, Florida statute: 776.012L allows an individual to use or threaten to use deadly force in two situations. The first is when a person reasonably believes such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to themselves or another person. Once again, under these facts, Jeremy would appear to be justified in using or threatening to use deadly force to protect himself or his son. As it appears that the three men by their actions were about to cause death or great bodily harm to Jeremy or his son.
The second time a person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force is when an individual reasonably believes such force is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. When the three guys surrounding the car broke the back windshield out of the car they were attempting to commit the forcible felony of burglary of a convenience. In fact, because the vehicle was occupied by his son Florida statute 776.013 would give Jeremy the presumption that his fear of death or great bodily harm was reasonable.
So under these facts, Jeremy was not only justified in his actions but would have been justified in using or threatening to use deadly force.
Sherry: All too often our members find themselves in similar road rage situations all over the country. Please remember, if you are ever in a road rage situation drive to a safe, public location away from the aggressor. However, if you are forced to display, or use your firearm, call 911 first then call your attorney answered emergency hotline located on the back of your member card.
When it comes to legal defense for self-defense we’ve got you covered.