Violent crimes like assault, battery, and murder are almost always subject to some of the heaviest penalties the law can give due to their shocking and egregious nature that wildly offends the public conscience. However, they’re also the only type of crime that legally could be perpetrated in self-defense and have the charges dropped entirely. Let’s take a closer look at the self-defense argument and learn how it could make such a massive difference in your case.
What is Self-Defense?
To put it simply, self-defense is a concept that essentially excuses the perpetration of a violent crime because of the threat or immediate fear of a violent crime causing you direct harm, injury, or death. In other words, if someone is threatening to kill or deal extreme physical harm to you, you have the right to preserve your own livelihood by any means necessary, including taking violent action against whoever is threatening you.
While this concept may seem simple, the law surrounding whether the self-defense argument is justifiable is extremely complicated and there are many different factors that will influence whether the use of force was justifiable. For example, was your use of force justifiable given the circumstances, or did it go beyond what was called for in a particular situation? Did you provoke the situation that put you under threat of violence in the first place? Did a threat of violence actually exist?
Using violence for self-defense must not be excessive, and must instead match the violence being threatened. For example, if someone is threatening to break your leg, responding by killing them would be considered excessive, and possibly lead to criminal charges still being given. Of course, this is a very black-and-white example, and the circumstances of a situation are rarely as clear as that.
Going overboard on your response to a threat of violence is called “imperfect self-defense.” In these situations, your use of force is not entirely justifiable, but it often does reduce the penalties you might face as a result.
Stand Your Ground
Nevada is one of the majority of states who do not enforce a duty to try to escape from the violence before applying force of your own. This is known as the ability to “stand your ground,” meaning there is no impetus to try to run before violently defending yourself. However, this is mostly justifiable in instance of non-lethal force; lethal force tends to cloud things even further.
As you can see, what might seem like a legitimate situation to justify the use of violence in self-defense could quickly become clouded as your case unfolds. It’s strongly advised you speak with a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to start building your arguments to justify the use of lethal force should you ever find yourself in a situation like this.
Call Turco & Draskovich today at (702) 381-6590 to request a case evaluation.