self-defense laws in NevadaNevada, like more than half the states, is a “stand your ground” state. You don’t have to retreat if threatened, and depending on the circumstances, you may have the right to use non-deadly or deadly force. Generally, situations allowing self-defense arise during assault and battery, home invasions, or attempted murder.

Self-defense extends beyond merely yourself – the law also allows, subject to conditions discussed below, for defense of a spouse, child, sibling or other persons in your presence.

Use of Non-Deadly Force in Self-Defense

You generally may use non-deadly force if you:

  • Have a reasonable belief you or another is facing an imminent threat or bodily harm; and
  • Use no more force than necessary to repel the attack.

Use of Deadly Force in Self-Defense

This, a justifiable homicide, is allowed in certain circumstances only when meeting the following conditions:

So, killing in self-defense is only lawful when the person is facing an imminent threat of seriously bodily harm or death. It is not enough to have a mere “bare fear” of being hurt to justify deadly force in self-defense.

No Duty to Retreat Before Use of Deadly Force – Stand Your Ground

Under Nevada law, you may stand your ground without a duty to retreat if you are:

  • Not the original aggressor;
  • Legally entitled to be where you are when deadly force was used; and
  • Not engaged in other criminal activity when the deadly force was used.

Imperfect Self-Defense

Some states also recognize an “imperfect” self-defense, which is where a person has an honest, but objectively unreasonable, fear of their safety. For example, say that Juan’s neighbor confronts him at his mailbox and threatens to beat him up if his cat digs up her garden again. Out of fear, Juan punches her. This may be an imperfect self-defense because Juan acted out of fear for his safety. However, it was not objectively reasonable because he was in no immediate or imminent harm. The neighbor said she would beat him up, if his cat dug up her garden again. This is not an immediate threat.

The Castle Doctrine

In a final twist to self-defense law in Nevada, there is one exception where deadly force may be used to defend property. It is called the Castle Doctrine, under which it is acceptable to use deadly force in your home if you reasonably believe the intruder is attempting to commit a felony. So if someone breaks into your home to steal a TV and not harm you, but you feel threatened, deadly force may be acceptable.

More Information

Any action that involves the harm or death of another person can carry serious penalties in Nevada. So, if you were threatened and believe you acted in self-defense, contact our attorneys today at LV Criminal Defense today to get the defense you deserve.