Florida Senate - 2013                                     SB 136
       By Senator Smith
       31-00237D-13                                           2013136__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to self-defense; amending s. 776.031,
    3         F.S.; authorizing a person to use force, except deadly
    4         force, in the defense of property; authorizing a
    5         person to use deadly force, in the defense of
    6         property, to prevent the imminent commission of a
    7         forcible felony; providing that a person does not have
    8         a duty to retreat if the person is in a certain place;
    9         amending s. 776.032, F.S.; revising the definition of
   10         the term “criminal prosecution”; requiring, rather
   11         than authorizing, a law enforcement agency to
   12         investigate the use of force under certain
   13         circumstances; deleting the provision that prohibits a
   14         law enforcement agency from arresting a person for
   15         using force under certain circumstances; authorizing,
   16         rather than requiring, the court to award attorney
   17         fees, court costs, and other expenses to a defendant
   18         who used force under certain circumstances; amending
   19         s. 776.041, F.S.; deleting the provisions that make
   20         justifiable use of force available to an aggressor who
   21         initially provokes the use of force against himself or
   22         herself; providing additional circumstances in which
   23         justifiable use of force is not available; creating s.
   24         776.09, F.S.; providing legislative findings;
   25         directing the Department of Law Enforcement to
   26         collect, process, maintain, and disseminate
   27         information and data on all incidents concerning the
   28         alleged justifiable use of force in this state;
   29         requiring the department to annually report to the
   30         Legislature the information and data in a format and
   31         manner determined by the Legislature; requiring each
   32         law enforcement agency within the state to monthly
   33         report to the department all incidents and cases in
   34         which a claim regarding the justifiable use of force
   35         is raised; providing an effective date.
   37  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   39         Section 1. Section 776.031, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   40  read:
   41         776.031 Use of force in defense of property others.—A
   42  person is justified in the use of force, except deadly force,
   43  against another when and to the extent that the person
   44  reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or
   45  terminate the other’s trespass on, or other tortious or criminal
   46  interference with, either real property other than a dwelling or
   47  personal property, lawfully in his or her possession or in the
   48  possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate
   49  family or household or of a person whose property he or she has
   50  a legal duty to protect. However, the person is justified in the
   51  use of deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that
   52  such force is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a
   53  forcible felony. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the
   54  person is in a place where he or she has a right to be.
   55         Section 2. Section 776.032, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   56  read:
   57         776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action
   58  for justifiable use of force.—
   59         (1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s.
   60  776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is
   61  immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of
   62  such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a
   63  law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was
   64  acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the
   65  officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any
   66  applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably
   67  should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer.
   68  As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution”
   69  includes arresting, detaining in custody, and means charging or
   70  prosecuting the defendant.
   71         (2) A law enforcement agency shall may use standard
   72  procedures for investigating the use of force as described in
   73  subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for
   74  using force unless it determines that there is probable cause
   75  that the force that was used was unlawful.
   76         (3) The court may shall award reasonable attorney
   77  attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income,
   78  and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any
   79  civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the
   80  defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection
   81  (1).
   82         Section 3. Section 776.041, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   83  read:
   84         776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification
   85  described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not
   86  available to a person who:
   87         (1) Is attempting to commit, is committing, or is escaping
   88  after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
   89         (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or
   90  herself;, unless:
   91         (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably
   92  believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great
   93  bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable
   94  means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is
   95  likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
   96         (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical
   97  contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the
   98  assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the
   99  use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of
  100  force.
  101         (3) Leaves a place of safety to place himself or herself in
  102  proximity to a situation likely to result in a use of force; or
  103         (4) Pursues an alleged trespasser or assailant after the
  104  alleged trespasser or assailant has withdrawn or when the
  105  incident that gave rise to a previous confrontation has ended.
  106         Section 4. Section 776.09, Florida Statutes, is created to
  107  read:
  108         776.09 Statewide system for reporting, tracking, and
  109  disseminating information regarding self-defense claims and
  110  claim resolutions.—
  111         (1) The Legislature finds that transparency regarding the
  112  outcomes of investigations into claims regarding the justifiable
  113  use of force is vital to the integrity of this state’s law
  114  enforcement function and to the public’s understanding of
  115  incidents and cases involving any alleged justifiable use of
  116  force. Therefore, it is in the best interests of the residents
  117  of this state to establish a statewide database to track all
  118  justifiable use of force claims made in this state, including
  119  decisions on whether to arrest or prosecute persons who claimed
  120  to have justifiably used force as permitted in this chapter and
  121  the reasons for the decisions.
  122         (2)The Department of Law Enforcement shall collect,
  123  process, maintain, and disseminate information and data on all
  124  incidents concerning the alleged justifiable use of force in
  125  this state. The department shall annually report to the
  126  Legislature the information and data in a format and manner
  127  determined by the Legislature.
  128         (3)Each law enforcement agency within the state shall
  129  monthly report to the department all incidents and cases in
  130  which a claim regarding the justifiable use of force is raised,
  131  from the time an initial claim is raised through the full
  132  resolution of the claim or case.
  133         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.