Castle Doctrine vs Stand Your Ground

People often confuse the Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground Statute. Although both laws are found in Florida Statute 776.013, there are differences between the two.

The Castle doctrine gives an individual who is in their dwelling, residence or vehicle two presumptions. The first presumption is that a person will be presumed to have held a reasonable belief of death or great bodily harm when an intruder unlawfully and with force enters their dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle. This presumption also applies if the intruder is in the process of or attempting to remove someone under their care from a dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle against their will. The second presumption is that the intruder who unlawfully and with force entered their dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle did so with the intent to commit a violent act.

Stand your ground does not provide an individual with any presumptions like the castle doctrine does. Instead stand your ground just gives an individual who is in a dwelling, residence or vehicle the ability to stand their ground and meet force with force including deadly force, without the need to first attempt to retreat. In other words, if you are home and someone kicks in your front door you do not have to run out the back door. You can remain in your home and defend yourself. The Stand Your Ground Statute, Florida Statute 776.013(3) only applies to a person who is in a dwelling residence or vehicle. However, similar stand your ground language can be found in Florida’s Self Defense Statute, Florida Statute 776.012, which is applicable in any situation including locations not covered by the Castle Doctrine.



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