Nevada Stand Your Ground Law

If someone threatens you with bodily harm, do you have an obligation to retreat, or can you use deadly force in self-defense? In Nevada, you are legally able to fight back with reasonable force. However, there are stipulations.

Nevada Stand Your Ground Law

When Does Nevada’s Stand Your Ground Law Apply?

Licensed gun owners in Nevada can legally stand their ground if they are in reasonable fear for their life, even if they can retreat. However, the stand your ground law is not an absolute defense to violence used to protect yourself. Nevada permits the use of force in self-defense situations where:

  • The victim reasonably fears they or another person is facing serious bodily harm or about to be killed
  • The victim did not start it or was not the original aggressor
  • The non-aggressor uses no more physical force than necessary to deflect the threat
  • The victim had the right to be at the location where the altercation took place
  • The non-aggressor was not in the process of committing a crime

The stand your ground law cannot be used as a defense for deadly force used to stop a nonviolent crime—for example, a burglary. Gun owners can brandish their weapons in a threatening manner to deter an offender. It is also legal to stand your ground against an aggressive animal in self-defense.

Nevada’s Castle Doctrine

Nevada’s Castle Doctrine is a law that basically protects car owners and homeowners who must defend themselves from intruders. People inside their home or car can assume that an intruder intends to do harm if they have broken into their house—at least until the criminal demonstrates otherwise. Therefore they do not have to wait until they face an immediate threat of harm to fight back or use deadly force, and they do not have an obligation to flee their home or car. This law is an added protection for citizens who need to defend themselves or their families in their own homes or vehicles.

What is Imperfect Self-Defense?

An imperfect self-defense case applies to situations where the victim believes, but unreasonably that it is necessary to use deadly force. Their case, however, fails the “reasonable person standard.” In other words, the victim will face criminal charges because they failed to do what a reasonable person would have done in a similar situation. For example—two people get into an argument, and one yells, “I’m going to kill you.” Fearing for their life, the other quickly pulls out a gun and shoots. In this case, “fighting words” do not pose an immediate danger, and a reasonable person would likely not have feared for their life in this scenario or used deadly force. The stand your ground law requires a reasonable and proportionate response to a threat.

What Crimes Can “Stand Your Ground” Be Used Against?

The stand your ground defense can typically work against any violent crime in Nevada. For example, assault and battery, robbery, rape, resisting arrest, battery, domestic violence, attempted murder, etc. As long as proportional force is used to prevent harm. If you or a loved one suffered personal injuries due to an altercation, contact a Las Vegas injury attorney today to learn more about your legal options for compensation.

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