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Self-Defense and Lawful Resistance in Domestic Violence Cases


A person who is being abused or who is about to be abused has every right to legally defend himself or herself in Nevada. This can be considered self-defense or lawful resistance. And as a defendant against a charge of domestic violence in Las Vegas, these are some of the defenses that you need to be vigilant about once in court. Below is further information about these defenses that explain their nature and how they can be used to defend yourself.

What is self-defense?

Self-defense is when a person protects himself or herself from violence perpetually committed by an abuser. An affirmative defense, self-defense is widely used by people facing domestic violence charges in Las Vegas and by ones who are accused of causing bodily harm or death of another individual outside a domestic setting. While seemingly a non-complex term, self-defense actually has many complexities that need to be fulfilled first before it is rendered valid. An example of self-defense is shielding yourself using your hands and then pushing your attacker away.

What is lawful resistance?

Not too dissimilar from self-defense, lawful resistance is preventing a person from doing acts of violence against you or family members that can be considered as a public offense. Basically, a public offense is a crime that is outlawed by a state’s statutes. A sample scenario would be you hitting a robber who is threatening to shoot if you do not give your purse.

When are they justified in Nevada?

Before they become affirmative defenses, both self-defense and lawful resistance need to be justified in order to be used in court. As written in the Nevada Revised Statutes, self-defense is only treated as licit when a particular person knows or believes that certain harm is about to befall on him or her. The extent and the frequency of the harm need to be taken into consideration in this matter. You cannot lay down a self-defense argument in the court when you started the fight or what you did in return does not equate to the physical hurt that you received. For example, you were merely brushed by a fist but what you did in return was a hammer in the head.

There exists “imperfect self-defense” where the act of fighting back is simply not justifiable. To illustrate, a certain somebody threatens you with words only but you retaliate with a knife and had gone for the stab. It is imperfect because no immediate harm is about to take place against you. What counts as justifiable self-defense is also applicable to lawful resistance.

How to prove self-defense and lawful resistance in Nevada?

These defenses are good and all and a defendant will have a strong fight when they capitalize on their strengths. Having said that, these defenses are not easy to prove and can be barred by conflicting reports from both parties.

To ensure that these defenses do not go to waste, you need to have a solid proof. Of course, pieces of evidence such as eyewitness accounts, footages, and even audio clips are very helpful. The amount of injury seen in the person accusing you of domestic violence in Las Vegas can also show that you only acted in self-defense as well as the fact that you never had a past of violent outbursts.

Refusing and fighting back against domestic violence is allowed in Nevada as long as they remain on the grounds of being lawful. As a defendant against domestic violence charges, self-defense and lawful resistance are some of the defenses that you could utilize to counter domestic violence allegations of the adverse party. We can all guard our welfare and safety to the extent that we might injure or kill our assailants but as long as they stay lawful, you are on the right. For more, you can talk to your domestic violence attorney in Las Vegas and Nevada.

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