No Second Self-Defense Immunity Hearing for Marissa Alexander

Marissa Alexander has been denied a second shot at a self-defense immunity hearing (often incorrectly referred to as a “Stand-Your-Ground’ hearing), reports by First Coast News.

Under Florida’s self-defense immunity statute (FL 776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force) a person claiming self-defense can seek immunity from criminal prosecution and civil suit.  To do so they generally request a hearing in court in which they present their evidence in support of self-defense.

If the hearing judge determines that there is a preponderance of the evidence in support of self-defense, immunity is granted.  Given that a preponderance of the evidence is a vastly greater level of proof than the reasonable doubt required to sustain a claim of self-defense at trial, this approach only makes common sense.

To read my whole post on this news, click on over to Legal Insurrection:

No Second Self-Defense Immunity Hearing for Marissa Alexander

Florida prosecutors fail in effort to deny self-defense immunity to black male shooter

Hey folks,

New post up at Legal Insurrection: Florida prosecutors fail in effort to deny self-defense immunity to black male shooter.

Check it out! 🙂

P.S. I’m pleased to announce that the National Rifle Association–where I have been a Life Member and Instructor for more than 20 years–has informed me this week that they will begin stocking “The Law of Self Defense, 2d Edition” in the NRA Store. Inventory should be in place by the end of the month or so. 🙂

VIDEO: Self-Defense Attorney Andrew Branca: The Reality and Politics of "Stand Your Ground"

Here’s another video clip from the lengthy interview of yours truly by Glen Evans, of Warrior Men and Self Defense Digest.

Here we discuss the legal realities of “Stand Your Ground”, and distinguish between the tactical application of “Stand Your Ground” on the one hand and self-defense immunity laws on the other–two very different legal constructs that are two often incorrectly conflated.

[UPDATE: Sorry, folks, this video seems to have disappeared off Youtube.]

South Carolina Father Wins Self-Defense Immunity in Shooting of Bystander

Hey folks,

A father in South Carolina who fired his handgun in self-defense–and in the process killing an apparent innocent bystander–has successfully argued that he is not subject to criminal or civil liability under the state’s self-defense immunity law.

South Carolina’s self-defense immunity statute–§16-11-450. Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil actions; law enforcement officer exception; costs.–is essentially identical to Florida’s self-defense immunity statute currently under legislative review (as covered by Legal Insurrection here)–§776.032. Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.

Darrel Niles, a purported bystander killed by Shannon Scott firing in defense of himself and his family.
Darrel Niles, a purported bystander killed by Shannon Scott firing in defense of himself and his family.

The Issue Is Self-Defense Immunity, Not “Stand Your Ground”

As is frequently the case in Florida, news coverage of this case invariably conflates the state’s self-defense immunity statute with other legal provisions involving issues of retreat, incorrectly referring to such immunity hearings as “Stand Your Ground” hearings. In fact, as was the case with the George Zimmerman trial, this South Carolina case had nothing whatever to do with Stand Your Ground, which is covered by completely different South Carolina statutes (§16-11-420. Intent and findings of General Assembly and §16-11-440. Presumption of reasonable fear of imminent peril when using deadly force against another unlawfully entering residence, occupied vehicle or place of business.)

For my full-length write-up of this case, check out my post over at Legal Insurrection:

South Carolina Father Wins Self-Defense Immunity in Shooting of Bystander

Also, don’t forget my Law of Self Defense Seminar taking place in Columbia, South Carolina, in just about a week (October 19).  For more info, click here.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country, with upcoming seminars scheduled for Columbia SC (10/19), Atlanta GA (11/16), and Epping NH (11/24, at the SigSauer Academy, where Andrew is a Guest Instructor). Click here for reviews of recently completed seminars in Ohio, Virginia, and Florida.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

Self-Defense Immunity Laws: Which States Protect You Best?

Hey folks,

Now that the Zimmerman criminal trial has concluded, much attention has focused on the prospects for Zimmerman seeking protection under Florida’s self-defense immunity statute from any possible civil action against him.

Florida’s statute 776.032, is among the broader self-defense immunity statutes, in that it possesses all four qualities of an optimal statute of this type.

Fully 29 states provide some degree of limitation of liability for the individual who has genuinely acted in self-defense, but there is considerable variety in terms of the scope and manner of protection provided.

To read all about it in my detailed post on Legal Insurrection, including the self-defense immunity states listed by state, click below:

Self-Defense Immunity Laws: Which States Protect You Best?

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2

Facebook:  Law of Self Defense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense,, 2nd Edition” now available at www.lawofselfdefense.com and also at Amazon.com as either a hardcopy or in Kindle version.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter on @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook,, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

Florida’s Self-Defense Immunity Law: How it really works

Hey folks,

A running question during the long run-up to and trial of George Zimmerman was the issue of Florida’s self-defense immunity statute (often confused with, but completely separate from, the state’s Stand-Your-Ground statute). Mark O’Mara elected to not pursue this legal option either at pre-trial or the trial proper, but in fact Florida’s self-defense immunity is favorably broad, including protecting against both criminal and civil liability, and the recovery legal expenses and even lost income in the case of a successful civil defense.

I did a lengthy analysis of Florida’s self-defense immunity statute, and the evolution of how its applied proceduarlly, over at Legal Insurrection–take a look here:

Florida’s Self-Defense Immunity Law: How it really works

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2

Facebook:  Law of Self Defense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense,, 2nd Edition” now available at www.lawofselfdefense.com and also at Amazon.com as either a hardcopy or in Kindle version.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter on @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook,, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.