Stand Your Ground Explained

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on January 28, 2015

 Stand Your Ground explainedHomeowners are not usually liable for the injuries of trespassers on their property, unless they set traps, create hazard conditions on the property when they are aware of trespassing activity, or take drastic steps to protect property, such as using deadly force. So where do Florida’s stand your ground laws fit into the discussion on trespassing?

Prior to 2005, Florida residents had were allowed to use deadly force in self-defense only if they believed it was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.  In order to use deadly force, and individual first had to use every means available to them first, including retreat, even if that individual was being threatened on their own property.

Section 776.013, Florida Statutes changed the law so that a reasonable fear of death or bodily harm is implied any time an individual unlawfully enters or refuses to leave a residence or vehicle lawfully occupied by another individual. In addition, the law also provides prosecutorial immunity for those who acted under stand your ground. This means that a defendant who can prove that the facts in their case meet the requirements under stand your ground can be granted immunity from their actions by filing a motion prior to trial.

Stand your ground does not apply when an individual is engaged in illegal activity or is somewhere unlawfully. It also prevents anyone from using a self-defense claim if they are in the process of committing or escaping from the commission of a felony.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have close to 10 years of experience handling Real Estate, Personal Injury, Immigration and Commercial Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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Types of Zoning

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on January 27, 2015

Types of zoningZoning is the way in which a city or state organizes land use in a way that promotes safety, security, and the health and well being of residents. If you’re a property owner, zoning limits the ways in which you can use your land depending on where it’s located.

Residential zoning includes single family residences, apartments, condos, mobile home parks, and co-ops. This kind of zoning will have an impact on what kind of animals can live on the property, what kind of businesses can operate out of a home, and even parking and noise restrictions.

Commercial zoning comes in many different categories. This is why you may notice that shopping centers are located in different areas than industrial parks, and bars and nightclubs are typically in a different area than say, your doctor’s office or a school or church.

Agricultural zoning restricts the density of development and protects farming communities from being parceled off into neighborhoods. As a contrast, rural zoning may be used for farms and ranches to allow large animals such as horses or cows, but not include the same restrictions on parceling as agricultural zoning.

Historic zoning may be used for areas with homes and businesses over 50 years old, and requires specific criteria to be met for alternations and improvements that preserve the historical value of the structure.

Esthetic zoning is becoming popular in upscale and luxury communities. This kind of zoning dictates color schemes, landscaping, mailboxes and fences in the same way that homeowners’ associations do. The difference is that these aesthetic regulations are coming from a government entity and not a private organization.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have close to 10 years of experience handling Real Estate, Personal Injury, Immigration and Commercial Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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How Can I Get Around Zoning Laws?

January 26, 2015

How Can I Get Around Zoning Laws?Zoning is regulation of land use for the purpose of urban planning. Without zoning, an individual could buy land in the middle of a neighborhood and open a grocery store, office complex, or gas station. Zoning helps organize a city or town into places to live, places to shop, and places to conduct business. Most of the time these regulations are in place when you buy your property. But what happens when a zoning ordinance is passed or changed after you buy your property? There are a few ways to counteract zoning changes to your property.

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Am I Liable for Trespassers’ Injuries?

January 23, 2015

 Am I liable for trespassers' injuries?When a person trespasses on your property, it means they are there without your consent. So what happens if there is a hazard on your property, or a trespasser gets otherwise injured while on your property. Can they sue you?

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Can the Government Take my Property without Compensating Me?

January 22, 2015

 Can the government take my land without compensating me? The government is allowed to take property from private citizens in certain circumstances under a power called eminent domain. Under eminent domain, the government can only take land for proper use, and they must compensate property owners in a timely and equitable manner. However, there are some circumstances under which the government can take land without compensating the owner at all.

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