Brandishing a Weapon in Nevada
Many states have certain laws that allow someone to draw a firearm or deadly weapon in self-defense to deter a threat against life. This is a way of self-defense against an attacker, as pointing a gun at an attacker convinces them that continuing the attack could be a potential danger to their life. This form of self-defense is extremely common, though it is rarely talked about. If someone shot an attacker as a self-defense mechanism, they could be excused for killing because it was in self-defense, but they could be accused of brandishing a weapon. The NRS 202.320 law makes it a crime to draw or brandish a knife, firearm, or any deadly weapon in a threatening way.
Drawing a Deadly Weapon
In Nevada, drawing or brandishing a weapon is considered a crime if all of the following criteria is met:
- The weapon is drawn, or brandished in an angry or threatening way.
- The weapon is a deadly weapon such as a gun, knife, sword, dirk, or any other deadly weapon.
- The drawing of the weapon takes place in the presence of at least two other people.
The biggest factor in these laws is requiring at least two other people in the presence of someone brandishing a weapon. There are certain exceptions, such as law enforcement members are allowed to draw their weapon if they are actively on the job. Brandishing a weapon is very different from the Nevada crime of assault with a deadly weapon, which many people tend to combine the two. Assaulting someone with a deadly weapon is charged as a felony in Nevada, while brandishing a weapon in a threatening way is only charged as a misdemeanor in Nevada. Along with brandishing, it is also a crime to aim a firearm at another person, according to NRS 202.294.
Although it is self-defense, brandishing or drawing a weapon in Nevada is still considered illegal, possibly resulting in a misdemeanor charge. If you are charged with brandishing a weapon, your punishments will likely include:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
If you drew a weapon and attacked, and were charged with assault of a deadly weapon, you will likely receive far worse consequences because it is a category B felony.
- 1 to 6 years in Nevada State Prison
- Up to $5,000 in fines
There are situations in which you can defend yourself to fight Nevada charges of drawing a deadly weapon. The self-defense law in Nevada allows people to fight back if they reasonably believe they are being harmed and potentially facing serious injury or even death. If a defense attorney can prove that the defendant drew a deadly weapon to protect themselves from harm, the brandishing charges could get dropped. Additionally, if there are less than two people physically present to witness the brandishing of a deadly weapon, it is not considered a crime. As long as the prosecution is unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that more than one other person was present in the situation, there is a high chance that the criminal charges would be dropped. Furthermore, people sometimes falsely accuse someone of performing a crime because of anger or revenge, and it is possible that the court can find the defendant was wrongly accused. The defendant could have their charge overturned if evidence is shown that they were falsely accused.
The laws involving brandishing a deadly weapon in a threatening way can be very confusing, whether it is self-defense or not. If you or a loved one has been charged with brandishing and it was self-defense, contact a legal defense team to help aggressively fight the charge to ensure the charge is dismissed. At The Defenders, our qualified attorneys have had years of experience dealing with a variety of charges, including brandishing. It is important that your record stays clean, and The Defenders will fight for your rights in court.