Castle Doctrine and Nevada

Nevada trespassing and burglary lawyersIn the State of Nevada, there are a variety of statutes applying to the right of self-defense. Many of the laws establish a clear guideline or criteria for when self-defense or actions of force are justifiable in order to protect oneself or others in their home. Whether or not the use of force, especially in regards to deadly force, is legal under statutory criteria may not be easy to understand or apparent to those in the greater society. For example, if self-defense is involved in your criminal charge, it is essential to have a knowledgeable legal team on your side to assist in navigating the murky situation you are faced with.

In Nevada, one may use force to protect their occupied home or car if an intruder seems dangerous and is putting occupants at risk. According to Castle Doctrine, the legal principle allowing people to use force, or deadly force, against intruders putting those at risk in a currently occupied home or vehicle, victims or occupants of the property are not required to wait for said intruder to aim their gun, threaten verbally or partake in harmful actions. If an intruder is seemingly dangerous and a threat to an occupied home or vehicle, those victims may proactively harm, or kill, an intruder if they have reason to believe the intruder intends to commit violence or harm those inside their property.

While Nevada does not formally use the term ‘Castle Doctrine’ in regards to these laws and criteria, there are a number of statutory provisions that are relative or equal to that of a castle law. According to NRS 200.120, NRS 200.130 and NRS 200.160, all discuss the Castle Doctrine protection, justifying a victim, resident, does not need to retreat or may use deadly force when threatened with death or bodily harm when in their own occupied home or car. Sufficient resistance, to prevent harm or injury by an intruder, may be made by the victim in danger.

  • NRS 193.240
    • Preventing harm or offense against the individual, family members or occupants of the invaded home at the time of invasion
    • Preventing any illegal attempts, using force, to take property or those occupying the home or car in their lawful possession

When Does Nevada’s Castle Doctrine Apply?

This Castle Doctrine has no application in regards to unoccupied homes or cars. Those who see an intruder actively breaking into their unoccupied property, home or car, do not have a legal right to kill or harm the intruder, even if they are invading their property. If an intruder is invading your empty home or car, the action to take is immediately calling the police.

Defense of Your Home or Car

Castle Doctrine typically appears and applies to various laws within the greater United States, protecting one’s right to defend their occupied home or vehicle against intruders, including the use of deadly force, when needed. Each state within the United States has its own variations or combination of statutory provisions, castle laws or criteria in which this is applicable. While this is not formally recognized under the term for Castle law in Nevada, such provisions are given to individuals, equal or congruent to that of Castle laws in other states.

Statutory Provisions in Nevada

As mentioned previously, the statutory provisions of NRS 200.120 and NRS 200.130 are relevant to the discussion of Castle laws. These provisions define justifiable harm, violence or homicide as self-defense for an occupied home, dwelling or car, as long as the property is occupied at the time of the offense and that the other person or intruder tries to enter with an intent of harm or to commit crime. Another statute in Nevada provides additional protection from civil liability in such cases, as well. In a civil lawsuit for damages, NRS 41.095 defines damages for a civil lawsuit and recognizes that a person in their home, lodging or car may have a reasonable fear of harm or death when faced with an invasion of their property.

At The Defenders, our team understands the system better than anyone and knows how stressful it can be navigating a criminal charge or issues of self-defense alone. Your safety is a priority for our lawyers and team. We are here as a go-to resource for any questions, concerns or difficulties you may face in regards to criminal charges or statutory provisions.

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