May 29, 2016
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_h0249__
HB 0249

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to the protection of persons and property;
3creating s. 776.013, F.S.; authorizing a person to use
4force, including deadly force, against an intruder or
5attacker in a dwelling, residence, or vehicle under
6specified circumstances; creating a presumption that a
7reasonable fear of death or bodily injury exists under
8certain circumstances; creating a presumption that a
9person acts with the intent to use force or violence under
10specified circumstances; providing definitions; amending
11ss. 776.012 and 776.031, F.S.; providing that a person is
12justified in using deadly force under certain
13circumstances; declaring that a person is not under a duty
14to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has
15a right to be; creating s. 776.032, F.S.; providing
16immunity from criminal prosecution or civil action for
17using deadly force; authorizing a law enforcement agency
18to investigate the use of deadly force but prohibiting the
19agency from arresting the person unless the agency
20determines that probable cause exists showing that the
21force the person used was unlawful; directing the court to
22award attorney's fees, court costs, loss of income, and
23other expenses under specified circumstances; amending s.
24776.041, F.S.; revising the circumstances that justify the
25use of force by an aggressor; providing an effective date.
26
27     WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that it is necessary to
28restore absolute rights of law-abiding people to protect
29themselves, their families and others, and their property from
30intruders and attackers without fear of prosecution or civil
31action for defending that to which they are rightfully entitled,
32and
33     WHEREAS, the castle doctrine is an ancient common-law
34doctrine, with origins going back at least to Roman law, which
35declares that a man's home is his castle and, thus, a person may
36use all manner of force, including deadly force, to protect it
37and its inhabitants from attack, and
38     WHEREAS, Section 2 of Article I of the State Constitution
39guarantees basic rights to all natural persons, including the
40right to defend life and protect property, and
41     WHEREAS, the residents of this state have a right to expect
42absolute safety within their own homes or vehicles, and
43     WHEREAS, no person or victim of crime should be required to
44surrender his or her life, health, or property to a criminal,
45nor should a person or victim be required to retreat in the face
46of intrusion or attack, NOW, THEREFORE,
47
48Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
49
50     Section 1.  Section 776.013, Florida Statutes, is created
51to read:
52     776.013  Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption
53of fear of death or bodily injury.--
54     (1)  A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of
55imminent peril of death or bodily injury to himself or herself
56or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely
57to cause death or bodily injury to another if:
58     (a)  The person against whom the defensive force was used
59had unlawfully or forcibly entered or attempted to enter a
60dwelling, residence, or vehicle or if that person had removed or
61attempted to remove another from the dwelling, residence, or
62vehicle.
63     (b)  The person using defensive force knew or had reason to
64believe that an unlawful or forcible entry or unlawful or
65forcible act had occurred.
66
67A person does not have a duty to retreat from a dwelling,
68residence, vehicle, or place where the person has a right to be.
69     (2)  A person who unlawfully enters or attempts to enter a
70person's dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to
71do so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force
72or violence.
73     (3)  As used in this section, the term:
74     (a)  "Dwelling" means a building or conveyance of any kind,
75including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance
76is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof
77over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by
78people lodging therein at night, together with the curtilage
79thereof.
80     (b)  "Residence" means a dwelling in which a person resides
81either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited
82guest.
83     (c)  "Vehicle" means any conveyance of any kind, whether or
84not motorized, which is designed to transport people or
85property.
86     Section 2.  Section 776.012, Florida Statutes, is amended
87to read:
88     776.012  Use of force in defense of person.--A person is
89justified in using the use of force that is intended or likely
90to cause death or bodily injury, except deadly force, against
91another when and to the extent that the person reasonably
92believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or
93herself or another against the such other's imminent use of
94unlawful force. However, the person is justified in the use of
95deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that such
96force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily
97harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent
98commission of a forcible felony. A person does not have a duty
99to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a
100right to be.
101     Section 3.  Section 776.031, Florida Statutes, is amended
102to read:
103     776.031  Use of force in defense of others.--A person is
104justified in the use of force, except deadly force, against
105another when and to the extent that the person reasonably
106believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate
107the such other's trespass on, or other tortious or criminal
108interference with, either real property other than a dwelling or
109personal property, lawfully in his or her possession or in the
110possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate
111family or household or of a person whose property he or she has
112a legal duty to protect. However, the person is justified in the
113use of deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that
114the such force is necessary to prevent the imminent commission
115of a forcible felony. A person does not have a duty to retreat
116if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be.
117     Section 4.  Section 776.032, Florida Statutes, is created
118to read:
119     776.032  Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil
120action for justifiable use of force.--
121     (1)  A person who uses force as described in s. 776.012, s.
122776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is
123immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of
124such force.
125     (2)  A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures
126for investigating the use of the force, but the agency may not
127arrest the person for using force unless it determines that
128probable cause exists showing that the force that was used was
129unlawful.
130     (3)(a)  The court shall award attorney's fees, court costs,
131compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by
132the defendant in defense of the criminal prosecution if the
133court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as
134provided in subsection (1).
135     (b)  As used in this subsection, the term "criminal
136prosecution" includes wrongfully arresting, detaining in
137custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant. The law
138enforcement agency or state attorney that brought the criminal
139prosecution is liable to the defendant for the payment of fees
140and costs.
141     (4)  The court shall award attorney's fees, court costs,
142compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by
143the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a
144plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from
145prosecution as provided in subsection (1). The plaintiff and the
146plaintiff's attorney are jointly and severally liable to the
147defendant for the payment of fees and costs.
148     Section 5.  Section 776.041, Florida Statutes, is amended
149to read:
150     776.041  Use of force by aggressor.--The justification
151described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not
152available to a person who:
153     (1)  Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after
154the commission of, a forcible felony; or
155     (2)  Initially provokes the use of force against himself or
156herself, unless:
157     (a)  Such force is so great that the person reasonably
158believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great
159bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable
160means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is
161likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
162     (b)  in good faith, the person withdraws from physical
163contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the
164assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the
165use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of
166force.
167     Section 6.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.


CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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