Florida’s standard ground law still confusing in light of Markieis Mcglocklon case

William R. Moore on Deadly Force and use of firearm to defend one' self

The recent Markeis Mcglocklon arrest is the latest long-line of controversial cases involving deadly force which is claimed to have been used in self-defense.

Criminal law used to require a person to retreat from a threat

The use of deadly force to defend oneself has always existed, however, under common law, the defender first had an obligation to retreat prior to asserting any type of legal justification. Florida’s standard ground law eliminated this duty to retreat which raised concerns as to vigilante justice throughout the state of Florida.

Two scenarios under Florida’s “stand your ground” law

Justification for the use of deadly force is presumed where such force take place in a person’s home or automobile. This fueled the fire in that many

An individual may use deadly force in any other place that they have a legal right to be where that person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to either himself or others, or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.

Threat of death or great bodily harm

I think we’re seeing here is either a misunderstanding or a loose definition of the “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm” claims William R. Moore

Florida courts have defined this as a justifiable belief that:

The assailant was attempting to murder them,

commit and aggravated assault upon them,

burglarize them,

a forcible felony,

sexual battery

etc.

False sense of security among Florida gun owners?

Florida has some of the most liberal concealed carry laws in the nation and it is been argued that the stand your ground law has created a somewhat false sense of security with regard to when you can draw a firearm.

You perceive a threat, doesn’t matter if your public, the law says that you’re justified in meeting force with force. If you justifiably fear great bodily harm then you can take a step further and use deadly force such as killing the assailant with firearm.

What about situations where you can’t justify a fear of great bodily harm or death?

What then of situations where someone is in fear of being pushed rather than being severely beaten or killed? How is the use of a firearm viewed under Florida law in that circumstance

There are many ways that you can use a firearm. Understanding that you should never pull a firearm unless you’re prepared to use it, you can still tell an assailant that you have a gun and that you’ll use it if necessary. You can show them that you have a gun and can actually pull that firearm. You can even take another step in point that gun at your assailant. All of these things can be done without firing a shot.

It’s interesting though that Florida’s standard ground of law doesn’t mention firearms in the statute rather only the term deadly force. This of course includes firearms, however:

What if someone fears that they are in danger of being battered but not justifiably to the extent that they are in danger of serious bodily harm, such as being pushed to the ground?

Can you draw a gun?

Florida courts have held that simply drawing the gun is not in itself considered the use of deadly force. Pointing a gun at someone does not in itself constitute the use of deadly force. Marty v. State in 2016, Rivero v. State,

This would seem to suggest that an individual can draw a firearm when they have a justifiable fear that any unlawful force is to be used against them no matter how slight. This would also allow for the drawing of a firearm to prevent a trespass on twins property.

Drawing a gun and firing it in the air as a warning shot does constitute the use of deadly force under Miller v. State. Florida’s standard ground law was amended however to allow the firing warning shot.

 

Juror Bias in Sex Cases

Video Broadcast with Lawyer William R. Moore in Fort Lauderdale

Few offenses if any are viewed with more distain by the American people than those involving sex crimes. Problems faced by cruel defense attorneys are compounded when the victim in such a case is a minor. Statistical analysis of cases involving sexual battery on a minor in the state of Florida revealed that jurors are more likely to believe a victim’s testimony over a defendant as opposed to other crimes. Sympathy for the defendant is almost nonexistent in such cases as opposed to violent offenses that are not sexual in nature according to South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney William R. Moore.

Direct communication between lawyer and potential jurors

How a defense lawyer confronts juror biases depends on the facts and circumstances of each case according to Moore. Obviously, the jury selection process is of paramount importance from a tactical standpoint. There is no question that by virtue of the way our legal process works the selection phase is the only avenue whereby a criminal lawyer may confront juror biases by talking to them individually and directly. See the following video for an effective example as to how jurors may rethink their positions as the triers of fact in a sex case.

Educating the triers of fact about the criminal justice process

The voir dire phase of a criminal trial affords an opportunity for the lawyers to weed out biases that will negatively impact their case. This is considered the primary and most paramount issue to be addressed. According to William Moore this is also the best opportunity to get jurors to think more objectively. Although the purpose of jury selection from a legal standpoint is not to educate jurors, the mere fact that you are able to hold a conversation with these people mandates that use take special care in formulating your questions. The defending lawyer should pose questions in such a way as to get the presumptive panel thinking about the ramifications to not only the accused but to our criminal justice system as a whole should they wrongfully convict an innocent person.

Getting potential jurors to discuss legal concepts

Criminal Jury Selection by William R. Moore in Broward County FLI recently did a radio show with former 30 year public defender Drew Atria whereby we discussed ancillary benefits to being conversational with members of the presumptive panel. The way a defending attorney should begin that conversation depends on a great number of factors depending on what has already been learned about them throughout the process. Criminal lawyers are at an advantage in that they are the last ones to question jurors. You go into your questioning already knowing quite a bit about each member of the presumptive panel. Such knowledge is crucial in determining how to facilitate a conversation with a particular person that may or may not be chosen to sit in judgment of your case.

Alleviating fears of each person before the sit in judgement

Every one of these individuals called for jury duty is nervous. If you can get them talking rather than just answering basic questions that nervousness goes away and they become much more comfortable in the process. More importantly, individuals tend to relate to if not feel some small level of connection to a person who alleviated their fear and anxiety in a stressful situation. Take away a potential jurors stress and they are more apt to reward you for it on some level.

For information about how to be on the William R. Moore’s State of Arrest video broadcast or submit a question, contact criminal defense lawyer William R. Moore directly at 954-523-5333. William R. Moore Criminal Defense Lawyers is located at 1 Financial Plaza Suite 2500, Fort Lauderdale FL 33394

Committing a Crime with an Unloaded Firearm

William R. Moore Criminal Lawyer | Firearm Defense

Recently the Broward County Sun-Sentinel reported on a case involving a robbery alleged to have taken place in Fort Lauderdale Florida. According to the victims, the assailant was armed with a handgun, which was pointed directly at her head.

See Sun-Sentinel Article: Armed robber fired empty gun at intended victims

According to police, the assailant attempted to fire the gun several times, however, no bullets discharged due to the fact that the gun was not loaded.

Criminal defense attorney William Moore states that the fact that the firearm was unloaded is obviously fortunate for the victim, however, will in no way negate the “robbery with a firearm” charges that have already been filed by the Broward County State Atty.’s office. The fact is that under Florida criminal law, it is not a defense to a firearm charge that the gun was not loaded.

A review of the Broward County criminal court case file revealed that the assailant was charged with one count of robbery with a firearm in addition to six additional counts such as aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Attorney Moore pointed out that according to police reports the assailant hit at least one of the victims with the butt of the unloaded pistol.

No information was available as to whether or not the assailant had been previously convicted for a felony offense, nor whether or not he was licensed to carry a firearm. There did not appear to be any charges filed for carrying a concealed firearm nor possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Robbery with a Firearm

Florida Statute 812.13 makes it a criminal offense to take property from another through forceful or violent means while in possession of a firearm. There is nothing in the statute that speaks to ammunition, meaning that the fact that the gun was unloaded is of no consequence from a criminal defense standpoint. In fact, use of the gun as part of the force required under the Florida statute is not necessary either. Meaning, an individual who pushes another to the ground in order to snatch their necklace can be charged and found guilty of robbery with a firearm where said assailant had a pistol in their back pocket.

Robbery with a firearm is a level 9 first-degree felony. Defendants convicted of robbery with a firearm are subject to minimum sentences under Florida’s 10-20-life firearm enhancement.

Questions regarding this case should be directed to attorney William R. Moore in Fort Lauderdale, Florida by calling 954-523-5333.

ADDING CHARGES OF BATTERY ON A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER IN ORDER TO JUSTIFY POLICE BRUTALITY

Fort Lauderdale Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer William Moore

In this State of Arrest Podcast:

A client comes into your criminal defense firm after having been arrested for low-level offense. You see that they have been roughed up by the marks on their face to which they explain that they were physically assaulted during the course of their arrest. Why is it that you can pretty much guarantee that felony battery on a law enforcement officer charges have been or will be added as account to their charges.

Added Charge of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer

Today were going to examine how a suspects mouthing off to a police officer could turn a simple misdemeanor arrest into the charging and prosecution of serious felony allegations by police officers. Ask any criminal defense attorney in South Florida and they will tell you that suspicions run high when faced with a client who bears the marks consistent with being restrained by law enforcement officers. The fact is that an inordinate amount of accusations have been made over the years by suspects claiming to have been unjustifiably beaten up by arresting officers following an admitted verbal attack on officers. Keep in mind that the discrepancy comes from allegations as to verbal verses physical attacks on the part of the suspect.

Under Florida law, a police officer may exercise reasonable force to gain control of a suspect only when threatened with violence. Physically attacking a suspect who has insulted or verbally accosted said officer is per se presumed to have committed misconduct. This unjustifiable use of force may result in the termination and prosecution of the violating police officer.

Just as there are good cops, we all know that there are bad ones to. Over the years we have seen an increased number of police brutality cases, many of which have been captured on film. An overwhelming amount of the aforementioned cases involve officers who were not physically provoked but rather responded to insubordination on the part of the individual being investigated. From a criminal defense standpoint, serious concerns arise from cases that provide no actual evidence of the events that took place during an investigation and arrest of an individual who has suffered some form of visual injury resulting during the course of their arrest.

Everyone has a breaking point when it comes to being assaulted verbally and where a police officer crosses the line by using force against an unruly suspect, the only way to avoid termination and/or criminal prosecution is to allege an act of violence perpetrated by the suspect during the course of arrest. There is simply no other way that the police officer can bring a suspect in for booking who bears clear injuries to the face and body. In other words, unless a police officer is willing to admit misconduct and accept the ramifications for committing police misconduct, the only viable option is to allege that the suspect instigated a violent act toward the arresting police officer.

Criminal defense attorneys in South Florida have historically grappled with how to best to approach the defending of clients who appear to have been overcharged as a result of what started out as verbal insubordination during an investigation involving a low-level misdemeanor crime. In a trial setting, a defending lawyer cannot expect to be able to outwardly argue that a police officer lied about physically battering a suspect in order to cover up an otherwise unjustifiable case of police brutality.

Limitations on just how fine of a line attorney may walk is often determined in the midst of trial where both prosecutor and presiding judge anticipates such an age old argument. One that where outwardly stated to the full degree can be viewed as improper and prohibited.

The most appropriate way to deal with issues pertaining to police brutality and misconduct under the circumstances is yet unclear. Even the most tactical approach on the trial level would require an intimate knowledge of how to implement that strategy based on the tolerances of each individual judge. Even under these circumstances issues related to the exposure faced by a criminal defendant will still often result in a desire by certain suspects to plead to the felony charges out of fear of exposure to incarceration sentences should they be found guilty.

The educating of individuals as a whole with regard to understanding the many dangers associated with the effectuation of an arrest in any Florida jurisdiction also seems to be an unlikely solution.

If either you or loved one has been the victim of police brutality and want to have your story heard, contact me, criminal defense attorney William R. Moore and schedule an appointment to explain in person at my office in Fort Lauderdale Florida. You may also contact me directly by calling 954-523-5333.

ASSAULT RIFLES: LOOK MENACING OR MENACE TO SOCIETY

Firearm Laws | Gun Lawyer William R. Moore Fort Lauderdale Florida

Transcript of William R. Moore State of Arrest Podcast

With so many options available to customize an M4 or AR 15 from mounts on rail systems, interchangeable uppers and lowers the modern “military looking” rifle is being dubbed by many as the male Barbie doll. Only this Barbie doll looks menacing.

And that’s why gun enthusiasts like it.

(more challenges to the ar-15 assault rifle – a ban on them considered constitutional. Just what is an AR-15 – This is State of Arrest and I’m your host William Moore)

More challenges are being faced by citizens who enjoy their constitutional right to own an assault rifle, whether it’s an attempt to restrict the sale of green-tipped 5.56 NATO ammunition or a higher court’s ruling that the local banning of assault rifles is constitutional, it appears that the challenges are going to continue.

Worse off, it would appear that those seeking to ban assault rifles through one form or another appear to be gaining traction.

So Just what is an assault rifle?

Does it just look menacing or is it a menace to society?

Those seeking to ban assault rifles think they look pretty darn scary which is, although they wouldn’t admit it, the only rational basis, to restrict or do away with the AR 15’s ownership by citizens altogether.

First off, I want to put it out there, and this is a fact. The staple ammunition for an AR 15 is the 5.56 NATO. It makes sense to consider the lethality of this weapon, doesn’t it?

One easy method would be to call any hunting lodge in America and ask if you can hunt on their land with an assault rifle of this caliber and you can guarantee to be told “not here, not with that caliber.”

For those of you that aren’t familiar with firearms of this type or hunting, you’re probably jumping to all kinds of rationale as to why you would be told something like this. Is it because these guns are designed for war and not hunting? Hardly.

Any reputable lodge owner, employee or hunter will tell you it boils down to one thing. An AR 15 assault rifle is simply to light to hunt even medium game.

So light, that issues of humane hunting come into play as a 5.56 shell is more likely to injure an animal who will run off only to die hours or days later from injury.

Let’s compare two rifles.

Take an M4 (another name for AR 15) manufactured by the popular assault rifle manufacturer Daniel Defense. A company that has been on the scene for only a few short years and yields anywhere from $2000-$4000 per firearm.

Compare that to a Marlin lever-action hunting rifle which has been manufactured in the United States for over 100 years and currently sells for about 500 bucks.

There is no comparison to the discrepancy in stopping or killing power between these two weapons. With ammunition such as the 45 – 70 government or 30-30 Winchester caliber, ammunition first manufactured before color television or even television for that matter is far more lethal. It’s not even close.

Now let’s really get into it.

You know the silencers that we’ve all seen so many times in action films. Well they are legal to posses. Where is the outrage here? Where’s the effort to ban silencers that are designed to quiet a gunshot to a mere click. Not like in the movies and what I mean by that is that silenced weapons in motion pictures actually portray themselves as louder than the performance of a silencer in real life. Now that’s a killing machine. A stealth-killing machine. To obtain one you need only apply for a tax stamp. This can be done individually, through trust or even through a corporation.

How about an easily concealable short barrel rifle or shotgun? The power of an array of heavy ammunition in a weapon that you could conceal beneath common jacket. Also obtained either individually, through trust or incorporated business. A type of weapon that when used at the firing range is known to blow targets off of their mounts one and two lanes over.

Where’s the activism there?

The result of political maneuvering?

Criminal defense lawyers emphasize the fact that we have a lot of bad laws on the books as a result of individuals seeking political favor. Make no mistake, this is exactly what’s happening when it comes to attempts to ban the AR 15. Because no one involved in this fight could be so naïve to just how unfounded an argument for banning these firearms truly is.

You’ve been listening to State of Arrest and I’m your host William Moore.

If you have questions about any of the content within this broadcast feel free to call us directly or send us an email. We would love to hear from you.