Homicide is the killing of a human being. Homicide can be justified or not justified. Homicide that is not justified may result in a charge for first degree murder, second degree murder, or manslaughter in Nevada.

What Is Justified Homicide?

Justified homicide involves an unlawful killing of a human being. However, the person has a legitimate reason that necessitates the homicide.

How Does Nevada Define Justified Homicide?

The state defines justified homicide as the killing of an individual being necessary for:

  • Self-defense
  • Defense of habitation
  • Defense of an occupied motor vehicle
  • Defense of another

If the person intends to commit violence against another or attempts to enter into an occupied dwelling or car for the purpose of assaulting or committing violence against anyone located in the dwelling or car.

When Does Nevada Allow a Person to Use Justified Homicide?

In Nevada, a person can use justified homicide defense when they:

  • Were not the original aggressor
  • Had a right to be in the location where they used deadly forced; and
  • Did not actively engage in actions that furthered criminal activity at the time the person used deadly force

Can I Use the Fact That I Was Afraid to Justify Killing Someone?

According to Nevada criminal law, simply having a bare fear of being attacked is not enough to justify killing another person.  The circumstances surrounding the killing must be sufficient enough that a reasonable person would have been frightened enough to act in the same manner under the influence of those fears.

Do I Have the Burden of Proving That the Homicide Was Justified?

Yes because a justified homicide is a defense. The person using justified homicide as a defense will have the burden of proving any circumstances.

What Is the Punishment for a Justified Homicide?

There is no punishment for a justified homicide. If a defendant and their lawyer are successful in proving the defense at trial, Nevada will fully acquit the person.

Should I Contact a Lawyer for My Homicide Charge?

If you are charged with murder or manslaughter, contact a Nevada criminal lawyer. By talking with a lawyer, you will understand your legal rights and whether you can use the justified homicide defense in your case.