In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the crime of Manslaughter are:
The killing of a human being is excusable, and therefore lawful, under any one of the following three circumstances:
•When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means with usual ordinary caution and without any unlawful intent, or
•When the killing occurs by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or
•When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune resulting from a sudden combat, if a dangerous weapon is not used and the killing is not done in a cruel or unusual manner.
The killing of a human being is justifiable homicide and lawful if done while resisting an attempt by someone to kill you
or to commit a felony against you.
Also known as the justified use of deadly force, self defense is a defense to the crime of Second Degree Murder. Please view the Florida Self Defense section for more information.