As you can imagine, when a violent altercation results in the harm or death of a person, there are various penalties that can apply to the person who caused the bodily harm. In the state of Nevada, many of these penalties can be very serious. For this reason, if you or someone you know was charged with a crime of violence involving self-defense, it’s essential to understand how the relevant Nevada criminal defense laws may apply to your situation.
This article will further explain the details of how stand your ground laws work, the specific Nevada regulations, and what you need to do if you or someone you know acted in self-defense during a threatening situation.
What Are Stand Your Ground Laws?
Stand your ground laws refer to self-defense scenarios. More specifically, it means that if a person is threatened, he or she has the right to use non-deadly or deadly force as a form of self-defense. These laws are applicable to more than half the states in the country. Circumstances certainly can vary, but in most cases involving threatening assaults and home invasions, using self-defense is allowable underneath stand your ground laws.
What’s The Difference Between Stand Your Ground Laws and Self-Defense?
The biggest difference between stand your ground laws and self-defense is the idea of retreating from the situation. In most scenarios, self-defense applies when a person can prove that he or she retreated from the threat. When it comes to stand your ground laws, it is not necessary to prove that a person backed away from the situation. Stand your ground laws are most often applied to people who are facing murder or manslaughter charges.
Here are two quick examples to demonstrate what would be considered self-defense and what would not:
- Self-defense: Someone attacks you and you injure that person by punching them. You have no choice but to defend yourself in this case.
- Not self-defense: Someone attacks you, but that person then decides to retreat. You then run after that person and cause them further injury. This would not be considered self-defense anymore once the original aggressor flees. However, stand your ground laws would still protect the non-aggressor in this scenario, as it is not necessary to back away from the threat.
Are Stand Your Ground Laws Different in Each State?
Yes, stand your ground laws are different in each of the states where these laws exist. Most of the varying doctrines relate to the act of retreating or not retreating. Some states require a person to retreat if possible, while other states do not require this duty. More than half the states in our country have stand your ground laws, all of them with their own specific sets of regulations.
Does Nevada Have Stand Your Ground Laws?
Yes, there are stand your ground laws in Nevada. These laws were first enacted in Nevada in 1983. Specifically, NRS 200.120 is the primary law that covers most of the specific regulations. It states that “a justifiable homicide is the killing of a human being in necessary self-defense, or in defense of an occupied habitation, an occupied motor vehicle or a person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors to commit a crime of violence.”
Below is a quick breakdown of some of the most important components that need to be in play for a person to claim self-defense with either non-deadly or deadly force to fall under NRS 200.120:
- The person can not be the aggressor of the situation
- The person was not engaging in any kind of criminal activity
- The person had the right to be in the location where self-defense was used
- If deadly force was used, the person was in urgent danger or was facing major bodily harm or death
- If deadly force was used, it can be shown that any reasonable person in the place of the non-aggressor would have no choice but to use deadly force for protection
- In the case of non-deadly force, the person used no more force than necessary to remain safe
- Revenge was not the motive
As mentioned earlier, home invasions are the most common scenarios where a person uses self-defense where this law is applied. In the state of Nevada, the Castle Doctrine allows for anyone to use deadly force against a person who is trying to break into their home or vehicle to commit a violent crime. Even if the intruder’s intent was not to kill, the person defending themselves has the right to use deadly force. NRS 200.120, NRS 200.130 and NRS 200.160 all include parts of the Castle Doctrine.
Charged With a Crime of Violence in Henderson, NV? Contact Us Today!
There are many varying circumstances that need to be considered when it comes to cases involving crimes of violence. For this reason and more, it’s so important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner. If you or anyone you know was charged with a crime involving an act of violence of self-defense, please reach out to our offices at John F. Marchiano Law Corporation to learn more about how these stand your ground laws may apply to your case.