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.
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.
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.
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.
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.