The belief in the imminent, real and greater threat must be reasonable to the average individual, not just the individual who committed the act. If the bus driver instead drives his beloved motorcycle and believes that his motorcycle is in imminent danger of being injured due to the mountain terrain, he would not be able to use the defense of necessity. No sane person would believe that the threat to the motorcycle was serious enough to warrant foul play. If a person wishes to raise the defence of necessity, he or she must show that at the time of the crime, it was assumed that there was an immediate and real threat and that he or she required him or her to act immediately to neutralize that threat. It must be shown that the threat would be sufficiently obvious to the average person and not just to the accused. You acknowledge that you have committed a crime, but declare that mitigating circumstances justify your conduct. If successful, a positive defense allows you to escape the consequences of an illegal act. However, several conditions must be met in order for the defendant to invoke necessity as a defence. While it is possible to imagine cases where it seems necessary to commit a money-related crime, courts tend to view these situations negatively. Economic hardship is not considered an acceptable defense of necessity, as social assistance and other support programs eliminate the need to steal for personal protection, food, etc.
Since the defence of necessity is essentially a justification for the offence, it is imperative that the accused have no other realistic option at the time the offence was committed. If he did, his criminal acts would not be justified. That doesn`t mean, however, that there shouldn`t be an alternative at all. In general, the person will always have the option of simply letting the greatest damage happen and not acting criminally, but the courts have concluded that this is not a “realistic” option. Positive defences, on the other hand, require you to admit that you broke the law, but did so because it was justified in the circumstances. Only if all these conditions are met is the urgency exception applicable. It`s also important to note that in some jurisdictions, the need is never a defense against the murder of another person, no matter how threatening that may be. Finally, a defendant who invokes the defence of necessity cannot have contributed to or caused the threat that he then sought to avoid by committing the crime.
For example, if the bus driver had been advised by his mechanic that his bus brakes were failing, but he had decided not to have them replaced, he might have had difficulty raising the defence of necessity because his failure to act responsibly contributed to the threat he faced. There are certain times when the argument of necessity will never be applicable. Second, at common law, there must have been a threat of death or serious bodily harm. However, modern laws do not require that the threat be of death or serious bodily harm, and they often allow for defence, even if the threat was lesser bodily harm. Sometimes it is necessary to break the law to protect yourself. In Texas, it is possible to fend off criminal charges by arguing that your actions were necessary under the law and therefore justified. If you have recently been arrested for a crime you committed out of necessity, you will need the help of an experienced lawyer. Contact Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. to find out how we can help protect our future by proving that your actions were necessary. The defence of coercion may be invoked if the accused was compelled by another person to commit an indictable offence.
Please note that the difference between coercion and necessity is that necessity can only be invoked if the accused committed his or her indictable act because of the physical forces of nature, while the defence of coercion is raised if the defendant committed his act because of threats from another person. The defense must prove six (6) elements to succeed. The defence of necessity is based on an honest and reasonable belief that you had no choice but to commit a specific crime to prevent greater harm. Most jurisdictions consider that economic necessity alone does not justify the commission of a crime. Therefore, someone who commits a crime out of economic necessity, for example, if a person robs a supermarket because he is unemployed and has no other way to earn money and feed his family, will not be able to use the defense of necessity. But can you invoke medical necessity as a defense if you have not received a medical recommendation and are tasked with growing more than 6 or more plants than is considered reasonable based on your medical recommendation? The first requirement to defend necessity is that you “reasonably believe” that your actions are “immediately necessary to avoid imminent harm.” It simply means that your actions are necessary to prevent you or someone else from being hurt or otherwise hurt at that time. You cannot argue that it was necessary to commit a crime to prevent a future threat of harm or danger. The threat must be present, immediate and up-to-date. When you argue that your actions were necessary to protect you, you are claiming an affirmative defense. Most defences that are argued in criminal cases try to prove that the accused is not guilty of committing a crime. Affirmative defences, on the other hand, require you to admit that you have broken the law.
However, you state that while your actions normally violate Texas law, they are justified in the circumstances. The defence of necessity may apply when a person commits an indictable offence in an emergency situation to prevent more serious harm. In such circumstances, our legal system usually excuses the person`s criminal act because it was justified or determines that no criminal activity took place. While necessity may seem like a defense, often invoked by defendants trying to avoid criminal charges, its application is limited by several important requirements: The difference between the necessity defense and the coercion defense is that in an emergency defense, you intended to commit the crime, but only to prevent greater harm or wrong. You will be charged with assault after hitting someone you thought was trying to sexually harass you. If you can prove that the applicant made unwanted sexual advances and/or touched you inappropriately, and that you acted in the belief that the situation would escalate, a defence of necessity would be appropriate. Hitting the person gave you the time you needed to escape the threat and get to a safe place. In some cases, inmates have successfully used the defence of necessity by committing a crime to save themselves from grievous bodily harm or death, but only in the limited circumstances of the prison escape. In order to raise a defence under either of these statutes, you must raise reasonable doubts as to the illegality of your conduct.2 While it may seem that anyone can claim that their actions were justified, several conditions must be met for necessity to succeed as a defense.
It had to be: you did not have the criminal intention to defend yourself by force because you were under duress. Although you may think that your financial situation makes it necessary to commit a crime, the courts in the United States do not agree. Economic necessity is not an appropriate argument for necessity. Courts, including those in Texas, have said that since the state provides welfare and alternatives to theft and theft, economic necessity is not a defense against a crime. The defence of necessity is sometimes referred to as the lesser evil defence, since it can only be applied if the defendant was certain that his action would not cause more harm than the situation avoided. To defend oneself out of necessity, a person must, first and foremost, reasonably believe that there is an immediate and real threat that requires immediate action. For example, a school bus driver may drive a bus with school-aged children if he loses control of his brakes when approaching a steep curve on a mountain road. He faces a real and imminent threat that the bus will spiral out of control and leave the road, risking the lives of countless children on the bus. Fourth, the threat must be immediate. Threats of future harm, however serious, are not sufficient to justify this defence. Five different requirements must be met for coercion to be imposed.
First, the defendant must indeed have been threatened. Please note that reasonable belief that he has been threatened is not sufficient. In order to present the defence, the defendant must indeed have been threatened. Here are some examples of when you might use necessity as a defense: However, there is one case where the court allowed a homeless person to use the necessity defense if he was charged with violating an order prohibiting sleeping in a state park.