Justifiable and excusable homicide, and other homicides

We’ve created this page to explain justifiable and excusable homicides, and other homicides not covered in detail yet. Thus, the following are not included in this page.

Please head to their respective pages for more information about that specific crime.

Justifiable homicide by public officer

There are some circumstances when homicide is justifiable in Las Vegas, and it is only when a public officer or a person under the command or acting in the aid of a public officer:

  1. If ordered by a competent court;
  2. If necessary to the execution of the legal process (i.e. criminal procedure);
  3. When necessary:
    1. Retaking an escaped fugitive who has been convicted of a felony;
    2. Attempting, lawfully, to apprehend or arrest a person;
    3. Lawfully suppressing a riot;
    4. Preserving the peace.

Excusable homicide by misadventure

There are two cases that excusable homicide by misadventure is applicable. If found to

  1. The person is doing a lawful act, with no intention at all in killing yet they unfortunately kill another person. Commonly known as an accident.
  2. An officer punishing a criminal, except if the officer exceeds the sentence. They can be charged with manslaughter or murder depending on the circumstances of the case.

Justifiable and excusable homicide not punishable

If the circumstance appears to be justifiable or excusable, the defendant will be fully acquitted and discharged upon trial.

Killing of unborn quick child

This is the crime of willfully killing an unborn quick child (15-20 pregnant) through injury by the mother. The mother has then committed manslaughter, a category B felony. It carries the following penalties:

  • Minimum of 1 year in a Nevada state prison, with a maximum of 10 years;
  • Fines not more than $10,000.

Taking drugs to terminate pregnancy

Taking or using drugs, medicine, or other substances with intent to terminate pregnancy after the 24th week, and thereby causes the death of the child has committed manslaughter, a category B felony.

  • Minimum of 1 year in state prison, with a maximum of 10 years;
  • Fines not more than $10,000.

The only exception is if they are acting upon the advice of a physician according to NRS 442.250.

Death resulting from overloading of passenger vessel

It does not matter if the act of overloading the vessel is due to negligence or not. The defendant will be charged with manslaughter if the vessel sinks and caused a human being to drown or be killed. The penalties will depend if the defendant was found negligent or willful: Negligence (Category D Felony)

  • 1 to 4 years in prison;
  • Fines up to a maximum of $5,000.

Willful (Category B Felony)

  • 1 to 10 years in state prison;
  • Fines up to a maximum of $10,000.

Owner of animal that kills a human being

An owner or custodian of any vicious or dangerous animal, while aware of its behavior, willfully or negligently allows it to go at large, and then the animal kills a human being (who is not at fault), then the owner has committed manslaughter, a category D felony.

  • 1 to 4 years in prison;
  • Fines up to a maximum of $5,000.

Death resulting from unlawful manufacture or storage of explosives

A person who makes or keeps gunpowder or other explosive substances in a city or town in any quantity in a manner prohibited by law or ordinance has committed manslaughter if an explosion occurs and resulted in the death of human being, is a category D felony.

  • 1 to 4 years in prison;
  • Fines up to a maximum of $5,000.

Contact a criminal defense lawyer for homicide charges

If you have been charged with committing homicide but you believe that it is justifiable or excusable, do not hesitate to contact criminal defense attorney Ross Goodman for your criminal defense needs. His experience in defending clients against all sorts of charges against them and the belief he puts with on his clients can make sure that you will have a fighting chance when it comes to trial.


References: http://leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-200.html