What are Self-Defense Laws in Nevada?

The state of Nevada has its own “stand your ground law.” Stand your ground laws basically allow a person who believes his or her life is being threatened to legally not retreat (or stand their ground) in self-defense against the aggressor. Unlike some states across the nation, however, the person who is claiming self defense under the stand your ground law cannot be the original aggressor. Notably, Nevada law allows for the use of deadly force to be justifiable in certain situations in which it prevents the aggressor from taking the victim’s life.

Nevada Self-Defense Laws

The self-defense laws in the state of Nevada provide protection for a person from being punished for a crime when that person uses justifiable force against another in a situation in which force is deemed necessary to protect him or herself, his or her property, a loved one, or another person in need of assistance. Self-defense may be necessary in several situations, including situations of sexual assault, battery domestic violence, robbery, and attempted murder. The most common self-defense situations in Nevada include self-defense against battery, attempted murder, or against a home invasion. Nevada allows you to use deadly or non-deadly force, depending on the circumstances.

Deadly versus Non-Deadly Force

The use of non-deadly force on someone else in self-defense may sometimes be necessary and allowable under the law. If the victim (the person using self-defense) reasonably believes he or she, or another person, was facing immediate bodily harm and the physical force used was no more than what was necessary to protect him or herself or the other, then non-deadly force is legal.

The use of deadly force, on the other hand, is justifiable in certain scenarios under Nevada law to prevent the aggressor from taking your life. First, the danger must be so urgent and pressing that the killing of the other was absolutely necessary in order to save your own life or prevent yourself from experiencing great bodily harm. Second, the person who was killed must be the assailant and the person who did the killing had in good faith attempted to decline any further struggle before using deadly force.

No Duty to Retreat

Under state law NRS 200.120, a person has no duty to retreat before using deadly force against another if the person using self-defense is not the original aggressor, the person has a right to be at the location when the deadly force is used; and the person is not actively engaged in the furtherance of a crime at the time he or she uses deadly force. It is important to understand that the person who uses deadly force in self-defense must have had the same level of fear that a reasonable person in the same situation would have had before acting out in self-defense. In other words, the fear cannot be a mere concern, nor can the person use deadly force in revenge. If a court of law finds the self-defense was justifiable, the person will be found not guilty and all charges will be dropped.

Nevada Attorneys

If you or someone you know has been hurt in Nevada, contact the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau. With years of experience representing the injured, these skilled attorneys will fight for the monetary compensation you or your loved one deserves.

(image courtesy of Eugene Triguba)