Strengthening Your Self Defense Plea Before You Need It
You are out with friends and someone physically attacks you. What do you do?
The truth is, this could happen to anyone. Most people will try to fight back in some way. Many people who are armed will use deadly force.
What is the correct way to handle an incident like this? What are your rights? The truth is, you could encounter a situation just like this at any time. Do you know what you are legally allowed to do?
Now is the time to know your self defense rights – before you need them.
Something could happen at any time that could completely alter your life. A burglary gone wrong, a mugger, a home invasion. Unfortunately, things can go very wrong very quickly. Knowing your rights and the Nevada self defense laws can help you avoid a lot of legal trouble.
How common is self defense?
Self defense situations occur more often than you might think. One major survey of gun owners in the United States found that firearms are used in self-defense situations around 1.7 million times a year.
Defensive gun use is actually quite common.
The survey revealed other self defense facts as well:
- More than 50% of self defense situations involved multiple attackers
- Most of the respondents who used a gun in a self defense situations had experienced these situations more than once
- Around one in ten self defense situations occurred in a public place
This tells us that your odds of being in a self defense situation are good, you are likely to face more than one attacker, you are likely to have more than one self defense experience in your life, and you are more likely to have a situation like this at home or in a private place as opposed to a public area.
What is self defense in Nevada?
Under Nevada law, you can legally use self defense for yourself or someone else as long as the incident meets two conditions:
- You have a reasonable belief that the person poses an immediate threat of harm to you or someone else, and
- The force you use on the accused is only what is necessary to make them stop.
- Are not the original instigator or aggressor
- Had a reasonable belief that you or someone else were in immediate or imminent threat of physical danger
- Have a right to be in the space where the incident took place and you defended yourself
- Were not engaged in any criminal activity at the time of the incident
In addition to guns for protection, it is also legal to use a knife, rock, or another force to defend yourself. You are legally allowed to defend yourself. That doesn’t mean you won’t be questioned by police or even arrested immediately after. Knowing the law and your rights is your greatest weapon.
Can you go to jail for defending yourself in Nevada?
Every case is different, and each case has different elements, some of which may mean that you wind up going to jail. That does not mean you will have to stay in jail, but you may be arrested or detained by law enforcement while they sort everything out.
After being involved in a self defense incident, the police will question you. They will want you to walk them through the entire incident and will have a lot of questions. Answering right away without the protection and guidance of your attorney is not the right thing to do.
What should you do if the police question you after a self defense incident?
If you have been involved in a self defense situation, these are the steps that you need to take:
- Call 911. Tell the operator that someone attacked you, that you feared for your life, and that you had to defend yourself. This is important. This is the first step in establishing your self defense plea.
- Ask the 911 operator to send the police and an ambulance, even if you are not hurt.
- When the police get there, comply with their instructions but tell them that while you will fully cooperate with them, you first need to have your lawyer present.
- If you need medical attention, get it.
- Stay silent and respectfully refuse to discuss the case with anyone, not even the police. Just wait for your attorney.
Hopefully, you will never need to use force against someone but it sure helps to know what to do if the occasion ever arises.
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