Bretherick v. StateAnnotate this Case
Fla. Stat. 776.032, the “Stand Your Ground” law, provides immunity from prosecution when a defendant has used force as permitted by Fla. Stat. 776.012, 776.013, or 776.031. Defendant in this case was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss, claiming immunity from prosecution under the Stand Your Ground law and sought a pretrial evidentiary hearing on his motion to dismiss. The trial court ultimately denied the motion to dismiss. Defendant subsequently filed a writ of prohibition in the Fifth District Court of Appeal. The Fifth District ruled (1) the defendant has the burden of proving at the pretrial evidentiary hearing that he is entitled to Stand Your Ground immunity, and (2) Defendant was not entitled to such immunity in this case. The Supreme Court approved the Fifth District’s opinion, holding that the Fifth District correctly determined that the defendant bears the burden of proof, by a preponderance of the evidence, to demonstrate the defendant’s entitlement to immunity at the pretrial evidentiary hearing under the Stand Your Ground law.