Attorneys for Backpage Prostitution String Operations in Polk County, FL

If you were arrested for soliciting a prostitute in a Polk County sting operation, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. Our attorneys represent our clients in the criminal courtrooms in Bartow, FL, by fighting aggressively for a result much better than the typical result in these cases.

Most of these sting operations involve posting or responding to ads on the Backpage website found at backpage.com. Although many consider "sex workers" to be engaged in a profession, in Polk County, crimes related to prosecution are aggressively investigated and prosecuted.

Almost all of our cases involve asserting the entrapment defense which involves a showing that the law enforcement officers created the crime and entrapped a person to participate even through they were not otherwise predisposed to engage in any prostitution crimes.

The best results in these cases are getting the charges dropped completely by the prosecutor or dismissed completely by the judge. If the charges are dropped or dismissed, then you may qualify to expunge any record of the arrest or prosecution.

Call us at 813-250-0500 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case with one of the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm for Bartow, FL.

Recent Prostitution and Solicitation Sting Operation in Polk County, FL

After a week-long undercover investigation, law enforcement officers in Polk County arrested 277 people for soliciting another person to commit prosecution, offering to commit prosecution, or deriving proceeds from prostitution. The most recent sting operation was named "Operation No Trick, No Treats."

The agencies that participated in the prosecution sting ring include:
  • the Polk County Sheriff’s Office; 
  • the Haines City Police Department;
  • the Lakeland Police Department; 
  • the Lake Wales Police Department; and 
  • the Winter Haven Police Department. 
 The most common offenses in these sting operations include:
  • offer to commit prostitution
  • soliciting a prostitution
  • use of a 2 way device in a felony
  • remain in structure for prostitution
  • driving proceeds from prostitution. 
These sting operations are supposed to target human trafficking but really just create and manufacture crime by encouraging men and women to engage in prosecution through very aggressive online solicitations.

Types of Criminal Charges Related to Prostitution Crimes


When prosecution crimes were investigated during this recent sting operation, the following crimes were charged:
  • 51 arrests for advertising as prostitutes online; 
  • 209 arrests for soliciting undercover detectives who posted ads posing as prostitutes; and
  • 17 arrests for deriving proceeds from prostitution or other offenses. 
During the sting operation in Polk County, undercover officers posed as prostitutes or those soliciting prostitutes by posting fictitious ads online or by creating profiles on several different social media platforms, websites, and mobile phone applications.

In other cases, the undercover detectives responded to profiles and online ads posted by prostitutes. Many of the detectives were targeting gay men and transgender people. Although Polk County is famous for these operations, many of the people arrested live outside of Polk County or the state of Florida including people vacationing in Orlando.

Definitions Related to Prostitution


Prostitution is defined as the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment. One of the preferred term for sex workers is "call girl" which often refers to a female prostitute who accepts appointments and has a higher income clientele. Other terms considered derogatory in the sex industry include the word streetwalker or hooker.

More and more, sex workers are advertising online on social media sights such as Facebook or online billboards such as Backpage. Many of these sex workers are moving online entirely by using video and other electronic communications.

Should prostitution be a crime? We believe the answer is no. Law enforcement officers have better ways to spend their resources. Unfortunately, in Polk County, the sheriff's officer creates these sting operations which often entrap people into committing crimes that they are no predisposed to commit.

Additional Resources on Prostitution


Recent Press Release for Prostitution Sting Operation in Polk County, FL - Read the press release dated October 17, 2017, from the Polk Sheriff’s Office News Release on “Operation No Tricks, No Treats” Sheriff's Office New Release. The sting operation involving posting and responding to ads on the Backpage website found at backpage.com.

Is ATF Coming for your Guns because of a Prohibited Firearm Transactions?

If you acquired or attempted to acquire a firearm from a federally licensed firearm dealer (FFL) and failed the background check, then you might receive a call from an ATF agent after the non approval or conditional non approval. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you deal with resolving the issue as quickly as possible, including filing an appeal of the non-approval under the procedures outlined in Chapter 11C-8, Florida Administrative Code.

Call an attorney before making any statement to a ATF agent that can be used against you.

The ATF Agent might also serve you with a letter entitled “Warning Notice of Prohibited Firearm Transaction” from the ATF Resident Agent in Charge. The letter is an indication that the AFT believes you were prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm because of an indictment, a pending felony charge, a conviction for a felony, an allegation that you are a current user of an illegal narcotic (drug), or other firearm disabilities under Federal Law.

The number of warning notices have increased dramatically as the ATF is becoming more aggressive in investigating violations of federal firearm laws, particularly after a person that attempts to purchase a firearm from a FFL and doesn’t pass the background check after a conditional non approval.

In fact, recent federal grants are funding new "comprehensive gun crime reduction strategies" using ATF agents. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is a government agency responsible for enforcing the firearm laws at the federal level.

If you live in the Tampa Bay area, then an attorney at Sammis Law Firm can help you understand the law so that you avoid any prohibited acts, understand your rights to contest a wrongful action or illegal seizure and forfeiture of your firearms.

Nothing in this article should be considered to be legal advice. If you are suspected of a prohibited firearm transaction, you need a criminal defense attorney to represent you so that you understand whether an illegal transaction actually occurred, how to avoid a further accusation by coming into compliance with the law, or what to do if you have been falsely accused.

Call us at 813-250-0500 to schedule a consultation in our office in Tampa, FL, to discuss your case.

What is a Federally Prohibited Firearm Transaction?

The "Warning Notice of Prohibited Firearm Transaction" official notifies you that, because of the felony indictment, conviction, or other prohibiting federal firearm disability, Federal law prohibits you from receiving or possessing a firearm or ammunition and from providing false information to an FFL during the acquisition or attempted acquisition of a firearm or ammunition.

For example, 18 U.S.C. § 922[g](1)- (9) prohibits certain individuals from possessing firearms, ammunition, or explosives. The penalty for violating this federal law is ten years imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine.

Specifically, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1-9) prohibits the following from possessing, shipping/ transporting, or receiving any firearm or ammunition:
  1. a person convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year (a felony offense);
  2. a person who is a fugitive from justice (this could include having an outstanding arrest warrant or a capias after a failure to appear in court);
  3. a person who is an unlawful user of or who is addicted to a controlled substance (this can sometimes be demonstrated by a recent conviction or withhold of adjudication for a drug charge including misdemeanor possession of marijuana or even obtaining a medical marijuana card if the person also makes statements admitting the narcotics use);
  4. a person who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been admitted to a mental institution;
  5. an alien who is unlawfully in the United States or who has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa;
  6. a person who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
  7. a person who, having been a citizen of the United States, renounces his citizenship;
  8. a person subject to a court order that was issued after a hearing in which the person participated, which order restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or partner’s child, and which order includes a finding that the person is a credible threat to such partner or partner’s child, or by its terms prohibits the use, attempted use or threatened use of such force against such partner or partner’s child (sometimes called an injunction for protection);
  9. a person who has been convicted of any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (sometimes even if the court did not officially designate the offense as “domestic violence”).

What is Possession of a Firearm?

Under federal law, the possession of a firearm may be either actual or constructive. The term "actual possession" includes holding the firearm in your hand or a bag that you are carrying.

The term "constructive possession" can cover a far broader range of activity. The courts have defined constructive possession to include: knowingly [having] the power and intention at a given time of exercising dominion and control over the object or over the area in which the object is located....” See U.S. v Booth, 111 F.3d 2 (1st Cir. September 1997).

In other words, if you know the firearm is present in your residence, vehicle, or business, and if it can be shown that you have the ability to access and exercise control over that firearm personally or through another individual, then you might be considered to have constructive possession of the firearm.

Under these conditions, you could be subjected to new criminal charges and/or revocation of supervision. For these reasons, all firearms are to be removed from your residence during the term of supervision.

Prohibitions Against Making False Statements to a FFL

Title 18, Chapter 44 U.S.C., Section 922(a)(6) and 924(a)(1)(A), provide that it is unlawful for any person to make a false statement to a federally licensed firearm dealer (FFL), when acquiring or attempting to acquire a firearm or ammunition.

For example, it is unlawful to misrepresent on a Firearms Transaction Record Part 1 - Over-the-Counter, ATF  Form 4473, that you are not prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm by answering “No” throughout Question 11, or making any other false representations.

For example, one question provides:

Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside. 
If federal law enforcement priorities shift in the future, the ATF could start taking the firearms of anyone who has recently admitted to using marijuana or obtains a medical marijuana card, even if the use of cannabis is legal under state law.

Penalties for a Prohibited Firearm Transaction

Under Title 18, Chapter 44 U.S.C. Sections 922(g), 922(n), 922(a)(1)(A), 924(a)(2), any person under a Federal firearms disability who acquires a firearm or ammunition or who makes a false statement or misrepresentation to a FFL when acquiring a firearm or ammunition may be imprisoned for up to ten (10) years and/or fined up to $250,000.

Consequences of Getting the Warning Notice

If you receive this prohibited firearm transaction notice, then the ATF is taking the position that you are prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm or ammunition because of your prior conviction or other Federal firearms disability.

Options to Resolve the Prohibited Firearm Transaction
If you are currently in possession of a firearm and/or ammunition that you receive while under Federal firearms disability, then you have three options:

  1. Hire an attorney who can tell the ATF agent where the firearms are located, don’t go to the location until the firearms have been seized by the ATF (or do anything else to “possess” the firearms until they have been seized) and then contest the forfeiture of the firearm and/or ammunition;
  2. Voluntarily provide the firearm and/or ammunition to the ATF or other law enforcement agency and agree not to contest the forfeiture of the firearm and/or ammunition;
  3. Transfer the firearm and/or ammunition, preferably through an FFL, to a third party non-prohibited resident of your State who does not reside in your hushed and who is not employed by you; or
  4. Sell the firearm and/or ammunition to a FFL, or arrange for an FFL to sell the firearm and/or ammunition on your behalf.
The Warning Notice does not, in any way, prohibit a federal prosecutor from prosecuting you for any criminal offense related to the unlawful firearm transaction.

Additionally, after you receive the Warning Notice, a future violation is more likely to be investigated by the ATF and prosecuted by a prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office.

Additional Resources

Tampa Field Division of the ATF - Visit the website of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Tampa Field Division to learn more about its criminal enforcement efforts. Find information on news from the Tampa Field Division News and Reward Notices.


Appealing the FFL Non Approval under Chapter 11C-8, Florida Administrative Code - Learn more about the procedures to appeal the FFL non approval after an attempt to purchase a firearm.

Attorney to Contest the ATF Seizure or Forfeiture of the Firearm

If an ATF agent recently seized your firearms because of an allegation that you were involved in a prohibited firearm transaction in the Tampa Bay area, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm.

We help individuals who have been wrongfully targeted by the ATF. Call 813-250-0500 to schedule an office consultation to discuss your case.

If the Officer Can't Remember the Case At All - Can He Just Read His Police Report Outloud to the Jury at Trial?

What happens if the police officer cannot remember anything about a portion of a criminal investigation? For example, in many driving under the influence (DUI) cases in Florida, the arresting officer has a very difficult time remembering the details about how the subject did on field sobriety exercises. This problem is particularly common when there is no video recording of the exercises.

Although some officers pretend to remember after looking at their report, what if the officer just admits that he doesn't remember? In other words, what if the officer says he has no present independent recollection whatsoever and that there is no way to refresh the recollection by looking at the report.

Can the prosecutor just ask the officer to read the police report concerning field sobriety exercises as a past recollection recorded under Section 90.803(5)? The answer is no and this article explains why.


What is a Past Recollection Recorded?


When the proper predicate is laid, a past recollection recorded is admitted as substantive evidence. Section 90.803(5) provides:

(5) RECORDED RECOLLECTION.—A memorandum or record concerning a matter about which a witness once had knowledge, but now has insufficient recollection to enable the witness to testify fully and accurately, shown to have been made by the witness when the matter was fresh in the witness’s memory and to reflect that knowledge correctly. A party may read into evidence a memorandum or record when it is admitted, but no such memorandum or record is admissible as an exhibit unless offered by an adverse party.
To lay a proper foundation, the prosecutor would ask the witness the following questions:
  • does the witness now has insufficient recollection to enable the witness to testify fully and accurately? 
  • was a memorandum or record was created concerning the officer's observations?
  • did the witness once have knowledge about it?  
  • was the memorandum or record report made by the witness when the matter was fresh in the witness's memory? 
  • does the memorandum or record reflects that knowledge correctly?

The Police Report isn't a Qualifying Memorandum or Record


Assuming that the prosecutor can lay the proper predicate, the defense attorney should argue that the past recollection recorded exception to the hearsay rule under Section 90.803(5) does not apply to the reading of a police report because the report would not qualify as a "memorandum or record."

That term "report" is not defined in subsection (5) of Section 90.803, but under Section 90.803(8), the public records or reports exception specifically excludes reports made in criminal cases.

Section 90.803(8) provides:

(8) PUBLIC RECORDS AND REPORTS.—Records, reports, statements reduced to writing, or data compilations, in any form, of public offices or agencies, setting forth the activities of the office or agency, or matters observed pursuant to duty imposed by law as to matters which there was a duty to report, excluding in criminal cases matters observed by a police officer or other law enforcement personnel, unless the sources of information or other circumstances show their lack of trustworthiness. The criminal case exclusion shall not apply to an affidavit otherwise admissible under s. 316.1934 or s. 327.354.

This provision shows that the legislature draws a distinction between "records" and "reports," which supports the position that reports are not including within "records" as contemplated by the hearsay exceptions.

Although that same exclusion for police reports (created by the officer concerning his observations in a criminal case) is not specifically included in subjection (5), it is required by Florida law for several reasons. The court in State v. Donner, 11 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 976b (2004), explained it this way:

Under this section [Section 90.803(8) for public records and reports], the [officer's] report would not have been admissible since it was a police report, and such report are excluded from the public records hearsay exception. The Florida Supreme Court clearly stated this interpretation in Burgess v. State, where it would not allow admission of a police report since it was hearsay and therefore inadmissible in an adversarial criminal proceeding. 831 So.2d 137, 141 (Fla. 2002). 

The court also cited Professor Ehrhardt, who found that this limitation is "based on the belief that observations by officers at the scene of a crime or when a defendant is arrested are not as reliable as observations by public officials in other cases because of adversarial nature of the confrontation between the police and the defendant." Charles Ehrhardt, Florida Evidence 786 (2003 Ed.).

The court did note that while some statutes provide for the use of a police report in trial proceedings; this applies only when the legislature has expressly permitted such use. Burgess, 831 So.2d at 141. Since no such statute exists which would have expressly allowed [the officer's] arrest report to be introduced, it therefore was inadmissible pursuant to Section 90.803(8). 

Additionally, in Burgess v. State, 831 So.2d 137 (Fla. 2002), the Florida Supreme Court found:
[T]he information contained in police reports is ordinarily considered hearsay and inadmissible in an adversary criminal proceeding. See Bolin v. State, 736 So. 2d 1160, 1167 (Fla.1999). Nor does the information contained in the report in question fall under any recognized exception to the hearsay rule. See §§ 90.801-805, Fla. Stat. (1999). 
Id. 

So the correct objection for the criminal defense attorney is that:
  • the words in the police report are "hearsay" and do not fall under the hearsay exception contained in Section 90.803(5) or any other hearsay exception; and 
  • the hearsay statements are also "not relevant" since the witness has no recollection that can be refreshed;
  • if the judge finds that the statements are not hearsay because they are not offered for the truth of the matter asserted then they are especially "irrelevant" because what relevant purpose would those statements serve if not for the truth of the matter asserted?
Also, you can't confront a witness about what they can't remember, so I would also add a "confrontation clause" argument.

Florida’s Stand Your Ground Statute - the Pretrial Immunity Hearing

This article is not intended to be legal advice. If you need legal advice about a criminal accusation involving something that happened in the past, seek out the services of a criminal defense attorney. If you need advice about what might happen in the future, you probably need advice from someone other than a criminal defense attorney.

These areas of the law are not well settled under Florida law and speculation about what the pending litigation might mean for people facing prosecutions if the legislation is passed.

2017 SB 128

Senate Bill 128, proposed in 2017, might change who has the burden of proof during pretrial hearings to evaluate a defendant’s claim of immunity based on a justifiable use of force under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Statute. Florida law currently provides the defendant a right of immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action if the person is justified in using force.

In criminal prosecutions, the courts often determine on a pre-trial basis whether immunity should apply. The current statute is unclear about whether the prosecutor for the state or the defense should have the burden of proof during that pre-trial immunity hearing.

Because of that lack of clarity in the current legislation, the majority of the Florida Supreme Court in Bretherick v. State, 145 So.3d 821 (Fla. 2014) clarified the procedures the court should use. Under that decision, a defendant claiming immunity must prove by a preponderance of the evidence the entitlement to immunity at a pretrial hearing.

In the dissenting opinion, the court concluded that the Florida legislature intended for the state to have the burden of proof at pretrial immunity hearings.

The proposed legislation, 2017 Senate Bill 128, shifts the burden of proof to the prosecution in pretrial hearings to determine whether a defendant is immune from criminal prosecution based on a claim involving the justifiable use of force.

To receive protection, the defendant must file a motion that clearly states the reasons the defendant is immune and alleges the facts on which the immunity claim is based. The bill does not expressly require the defendant be sworn or admit the facts in the motion.

The bill also requires the state to prove its burden beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof of beyond a reasonable doubt is the same burden of proof imposed on the state in the prosecution of criminal cases. Even if the defense loses on a pre-trial basis, the issue of self-defense can also be raised at trial as an affirmative defense.

Senate Bill 128 also provides that the state must prove its burden by the beyond a reasonable doubt standard instead of the lower standards used during other types of pre-trial hearings.


The History of Florida’s Stand Your Ground Statute


In 2005, the Florida Legislature enacted chapter 2005-27, commonly known as the “Stand Your Ground” law. The Stand Your Ground law expanded the common law Castle Doctrine. The new legislation also changed the defender’s common law duty to retreat.

The changes to Florida’s self-defense laws were incorporated into chapter 776, F.S., which applies to the justifiable use of force.

The History of the Castle Doctrine in Florida


The Castle Doctrine dates back to common law. Florida’s Castle Doctrine establishes that when faced with an intruder, a person had no duty to retreat from his or her home. Instead, under Florida’s version of the Castle Doctrine, the defender had the right to stay in the home and protect himself or herself with force. That force can include even deadly force.

Florida’s Stand Your Ground statute in 2015, expanded the Castle Doctrine. The Stand Your Ground provisions extended the “castle” to include more than just a residence. Under Florida’s Stand Your Ground statute, the protections also apply to a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle.

In fact, Florida Statute Section 776.013(5), defines a dwelling as a temporary or permanent building or conveyance of any kind, including an attached porch with or without a roof, mobile or immobile, including a tent, provided that it is designed for nighttime lodging.

The term “residence” is defended to include a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest.

The term “vehicle” means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized provided that it is designed to transport people or property.

When Do Stand Your Ground Protections Apply

The Stand Your Ground statute in Florida also created a presumption that a person within these protected areas has a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm under the following two conditions:
  • the offender must have entered or be in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle or be attempting to forcibly remove a person; and
  • the defender must know or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry had occurred or was occurring.
The Stand Your Ground law in Florida does not impose a duty to retreat on a person who acts in self-defense in his or her castle and other protected areas. Under Florida Statute Section 776.032(1), the defender will generally receive a grant of immunity from arrest, criminal prosecution, and civil action when those conditions are met.

When Do Stand Your Ground Protections Not Apply

Under Florida Statute Section 776.013, the presumption does not apply under the following circumstances:
  • if the person against whom defensive force is used or threatened has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the location and against whom there is no injunction for protection;
  • the person sought to be removed is in the lawful custody or guardianship of the person against whom the defensive force is used or threatened;
  • the person who uses or threatens to use defensive force is committing a crime or using the location to further a criminal act;
  • the person against whom defensive force is used or threatened is a law enforcement officer entering the premises pursuant to an official duty and who identifies him or herself as a law enforcement officer.
In fact, under Florida Statute Section 776.013(4), a person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to intend to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.
2005 Changes to Florida’s Self-Defense Laws
Under the 2005 changes to Florida’s self-defense law under Section 776.012(1), a person does not generally have a duty to retreat before using force outside of a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle.

When acting in self-defense or in defense of others, a person does not have a duty to retreat and may use non-deadly force, if the person reasonably believes the force is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against an imminent use of unlawful force.

Instead, the person may use deadly force, if the person reasonably believes the force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself. Under Section 776.012(2), the common law duty to retreat before using deadly force still applies to a person who is engaged in criminal activity or is not in a place where he or she has a right to be.

Standing Your Ground in Defense of Property

For claims involving acting in defense of property, a person does not have a duty to retreat and may use non-deadly force under the following circumstances:
  • if the person believes that the force is necessary to stop a trespasser’s entry on personal or real property other than a dwelling; and
  • the belief is reasonable under the circumstances.

Deadly force may be used if the person reasonably believes deadly force is needed to prevent a forcible felony. The term “forcible felony” is defined to include;
  • any felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual specifically including:
    • treason;
    • murder;
    • manslaughter;
    • sexual battery;
    • carjacking;
    • home-invasion robbery;
    • robbery;
    • burglary;
    • arson;
    • kidnapping; 
    • aggravated assault;
    • aggravated battery;
    • aggravated stalking;
    • aircraft piracy; or
    • unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb.

See Section 776.08, F.S.

Immunity from Civil Action under Stand Your Ground

Under Section 776.031, a person who uses force in self-defense as authorized under chapter 776, F.S., is justified for those actions and is immune from and any civil action. Under Section 776.032(3), a defendant to a civil action based on a use of force is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, lost income, and all expenses related to the defense of the action if the defendant prevails in a claim of immunity.

Immunity from Criminal Prosecution and the Peterson Hearing


Under Section 776.031, a person who uses force in self-defense as authorized under chapter 776, F.S., is justified for those actions and is immune from criminal prosecution. Under Section 776.032(1), the concept of immunity is supposed to apply to all phases of the criminal prosecution including the arrest, being detained, being charged, or facing a criminal prosecution.

The Stand Your Ground statute is silent on how to procedurally determine the right to immunity before trial. As a result, the procedures for determining when immunity applies have largely been determined by the courts.

The courts have recognized that the procedures for claiming immunity are different than the procedures for asserting an affirmative defense. In many cases, the defense will file a pretrial, adversarial motion and the court will set a hearing on the motion to determine immunity. Peterson v. State, 983 So. 2d 27 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008).

The standard used by some trial courts during the immunity hearing was a showing by a preponderance of the evidence. Even if the court denies the immunity claim, the defense can still introduce the claim as an affirmative defense at trial. Id.

In Bretherick v. State, 170 So. 3d 766, 722 (Fla. 2015), the Florida Supreme Court attempted to clarify the issues by finding that the defense bears the burden of proof in immunity hearings and that the required showing is beyond a reasonable doubt. The dissenting opinion argued:
By imposing the burden of proof on the defendant at the pretrial evidentiary hearing, the majority substantially curtails the benefit of the immunity from trial conferred by the Legislature under the Stand Your Ground law. There is no reason to believe that the Legislature intended for a defendant to be denied immunity and subjected to trial when that defendant would be entitled to acquittal at trial on the basis of a Stand Your ground defense. But the majority’s decision here guarantees that certain defendants who would be entitled to acquittal at trial will nonetheless be deprived of immunity from trial.
Id. at 780.

Additional Resources

Governor’s Scott’s Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection - The task force was convened by Florida Governor Rick Scott for the purpose of reviewing Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. A detailed report was issued by the task force on February 21, 2013, which was before the Florida’s Supreme Court Decision in Bretherick. The report found that all persons who are conducting themselves in a lawful manner have the right to defend themselves and to stand their ground when attacked.

Visit our office in Tampa, Florida
Sammis Law Firm
1005 N. Marion St.
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 250-0500