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Arguing "Self-Defense" as a Defense against Assault Charges

Las Vegas can be a great place to relax and have fun with friends and family but it can also be dangerous. You cannot control the actions of others and the possibility of a physical altercation can be very real. You might be in the wrong place at the wrong time and find yourself in a situation where you must protect yourself. If you are not careful, self-defense can turn into an assault charge. Self-defense as a legal defense is not applicable in every situation and it is vital to understand when in can be used.

There are two factors to consider for self-defense. First, you must be in immediate danger. There must be a real and immediate threat to your safety in order for use of force to be justified. It is not enough to perceive or believe that you are in danger. If you strike an individual because you thought they might act violently, it may be considered “imperfect-self-defense” since there was no actual danger.

Secondly, you may protect yourself using only as much force as is necessary. For example, if a person attempts to hit you and you strike them in response, this could constitute self-defense. On the other hand, if that same person pushes you backwards and you shoot and kill them, it is use of unnecessary force and can forfeit your claim of self-dense.

Crimes for which you may protect yourself under self-defense include:

  • Assault and battery
  • Attempted murder
  • Robbery
  • Domestic violence

Some states require that victims have a duty to retreat to a safe area (1) when they are threated and (2) if they can reasonably do so. Failing to so when presented with an opportunity may mean that any action taken against aggressors will not be considered self-defense. Nevada, however, has a stand your ground law. This means that if you have a reasonable fear for your immediate safety, you are not required to retreat or run away in order to stay within the law. You can stay where you are and defend yourself.

Have You Been Charged with Assault? Call

Without a proper legal defense, an act of self-defense can quickly turn into an assault charge. If you have been charged with a crime, it is imperative that you contact a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney immediately. At The Law Offices of David R. Fischer, we have a proven track record of success and know how to defend your rights.

Schedule a no-cost consultation today and discover your legal options.