We have a right to self-defense in Nevada, don’t we? This is a question that many residents and business owners in Nevada can’t answer with confidence, even though a break-in or threat to their life could happen at any time.
Many Nevadans don’t fully understand the state’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws, and that has to change.
By understanding when you are legally allowed to protect yourself or your property from harm, you may make lawful decisions while keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.
What Is a ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law?
‘Stand Your Ground’ laws have a relatively brief history, originating in Florida in 2005 (p.2). Though specific laws vary from state to state, these ‘Stand Your Ground’ statutes generally allow individuals to protect themselves, their loved ones, and (in more limited cases) their property through the use of force.
Physical harm, kidnapping, and the destruction or theft of property (again, property has more limited protections) may fall under Nevada’s Stand Your Ground laws.
What Do Nevada Statutes Say About Self-Defense?
Several Nevada statutes, including NRS § 200.120 (definition of “justifiable homicide”), NRS § 200.200 (“killing in self-defense”), and NRS § 200.275 (“Justifiable infliction or threat of bodily injury not punishable”), help form Nevada’s collective ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws. These and other statutes explain:
- When someone can use non-lethal or lethal force against another person or animal without facing criminal penalties
- What constitutes a threat or circumstance that justifies the use of force against another person or animal
We’ll spare you the legal jargon and complicated statute numbers. As someone living in Nevada, you should know that:
- You generally have a right to defend yourself and your loved ones from harm using force: Standing your ground means you don’t have a duty to retreat before using force in self-defense (or defense of others).
- There are specific requirements for the use of deadly force: You may generally use non-deadly force in most situations where you feel your safety, or the safety of another, is at risk. If you use deadly force, though, you must generally prove that danger was “urgent and pressing,” that major bodily harm was possible or likely, that a reasonable person would have feared for their safety, and that revenge did not play a role in your use of lethal force.
You should also know that property does not have the same protections as people when it comes to using either non-lethal or lethal force. The Castle Doctrine, which is directly related to Stand Your Ground laws, may allow you to use force in certain situations even if your safety is not at immediate risk.
As Florida Statute § 776.013(2)(a) explains well, the Castle Doctrine allows one to use force against someone who has unlawfully entered, or is attempting to unlawfully enter, your residence or an occupied vehicle. This doctrine may be relevant to your case in Nevada.
Stand Your Ground Law Are Complicated, So Speak to an Attorney from At Ease Law Today
There is absolutely no room for confusion regarding Stand Your Ground Laws. Whether you want to simply discuss these laws for your own understanding or you’re facing a legal matter related to Nevada’s self-defense laws, call At Ease Law today at 702-602-5004. You can also reach us online.