NEVADANS HAVE A RIGHT TO “STAND YOUR GROUND”
Know your rights under Nevada “stand your ground” law with “no duty to retreat.”
Nevada is one of thirty-five “stand your ground” states extending your rights to self-defense. This enables a person who is being threatened with the possibility of death or great bodily harm to meet force with force, thus defending themselves or another, with “no duty to retreat.” In some states, the law dictates that one must retreat from a threat rather than engage if there is an opportunity to do so; however, Nevada’s “stand your ground” law does not require one to retreat if they are being threatened. Whether non-deadly or deadly force has been used, Nevada law protects a person if their action has been deemed justifiable. There are specific circumstances that are to be considered in making that determination.
Non-Deadly Force is the necessary use of force in self-defense when a person is facing an urgent threat of bodily harm.
Nevada law protects a person who uses force against another in self-defense in order to preserve and protect themselves or someone else. Non-deadly force can legally be used when:
- The aggressor has displayed the intention to do bodily harm
- The force used in self-defense must only be what is reasonably necessary for protection
Justifiable Homicide is the necessary use of deadly force in self-defense.
When acting in self-defense results in the use of deadly force, there are certain conditions under which the incident has taken place in order to consider it “justifiable homicide” under Nevada law. The threat of personal injury must be critical in order to justify the necessity of killing another person, and the action taken must be reasonably equivalent to the threat.
When it comes to using deadly force in self-defense:
- You must not be the aggressor
- You must legally be allowed on the property where the incident has taken place
- You must not be involved in criminal activity at the time of the incident
Situations in which Nevada law allows you to use deadly or non-deadly force depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident include:
In cases where force is used, whether deadly or non-deadly, Nevada law extends beyond self-defense. It allows for the defense of a family member or loved one, and is extended to other close relatives, friends, acquaintances, or even strangers, as long as there is a clear threat of violence toward them whether in their home, in their vehicle, or in a public space.
Nevada Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground Laws: What is the Difference?
The castle doctrine originated in England around the year 1600 and gets its name from the notion that a man is the ruler of his own home or “castle” and others have no right to enter without their permission. This protected even the poorest of men in their home or cottage from any strangers, as well as the government. This translates to modern-day in much the same way, giving the right of the use of deadly force without obligation to retreat to a homeowner against an intruder(s) entering their home without permission intending to commit a crime or do the occupants harm. Castle doctrine also directly applies to a person defending themselves against an intruder while in their vehicle. Stand your ground laws in Nevada give the same protection to a person as the castle doctrine does, but refers to public spaces – not just their home. These laws allow for the use of potentially deadly force in the face of violent assault in a public space without obligation to retreat as long as they are legally allowed to be there, they are not the aggressor in the incident, and are not committing a crime while the incident has taken place.
USING A FIREARM IN SELF-DEFENSE
When you own a firearm there is a chance it may be used in self-defense.
Approximately 37.5 percent of Nevada residents currently own a gun. Knowing your rights and responsibilities as a gun owner as to the legal use of a firearm for self-defense is a necessity. First and foremost, gun owners must follow Nevada state gun laws. In addition, if a person is forced to pull their weapon to be used in self-defense, they must:
- Legally own the firearm
- Have a permit to carry the firearm
- Be faced with a clear and aggressive threat
By adopting the stand your ground law and castle doctrine, Nevada provides ample protection for victims of violent assault who have used justifiable force in self-defense. The criminal defense attorneys at The Defenders know the intricacies of these laws and how to navigate them in order to firmly represent Nevadans who bravely stand their ground in the face of imminent danger.