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Florida woman unlikely to serve prison term after change in law

On June 20, the Florida governor signed into law new guidelines regarding individuals who use a gun to fire a warning shot or to threaten violence while attempting to protect themselves. According to authorities, the new law may affect the case of a 33-year-old woman who received a 20-year prison sentence in connection with a domestic violence incident in which she claimed self-defense after firing a warning shot into the air. Authorities say that the 33-year-old woman will likely be absolved of her prison sentence thanks to the new law, which was inspired by her case.

On August 1, 2010, the woman and her husband had reportedly engaged in an argument that led to a physical struggle. According to the woman, her husband grabbed her by the neck. The woman purportedly tried to escape her husband but failed. That is when the woman reportedly retrieved a gun that she legally owned.

The woman claimed that her husband threatened to kill her when he saw the gun and made a charge toward her. The woman then fired the warning shot into the air.

During the first trial stemming from the incident, the jury did not support the woman's claims of self-defense and determined that Florida's 'Stand Your Ground" law did not apply to her case. As a result of the trial, the woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The new law signed by the governor on June 20 may have a profound effect, particularly in regard to some domestic violence cases. Furthermore, it is crucial for people accused of crimes dealing with self-defense to retain a criminal defense attorney to see if the new law may apply to their cases.

Source: WJLA, "Marissa Alexander, who fired warning shot at husband attacking her, likely won't see prison after Florida changes 'Stand Your Ground' law ", June 23, 2014

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