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What is the necessity defense?

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2020 | criminal defense

When creating a defense to a criminal charge, there are many different options that you may use. It is essential that you find the proper defense strategy in order to have the best possible chances of winning your case. Since there is a variety of options, it may help to familiarize yourself with those that could potentially work in your case. One option you may have is the necessity defense. 

Pacific Standard Magazine explains that the necessity defense is essentially when you do something wrong but it is for the right reasons. It is a defense that claims there was a moral higher ground to what you did. 

This type of defense often stands up in cases involving environmental or social issues. For example, it comes into play often for those involved in sit-ins or protests. The human rights field has many activists that have fought and won cases using this defense strategy. 

In accepting this defense, the court is essentially saying that breaking the law is justifiable in the situation. However, it is important to note that if you use this defense, your actions should not be violent. It should be for something that was peaceful and any harm as a result is minor compared to the benefits your actions would provide for the greater good. 

You will also need to prove what you were standing up against. This will be to show evidence that there is a larger threat and that your actions were meant to help stop that threat. While courts do accept the necessity defense, it is important to remember that it is not applicable in every situation. You only want to use this defense if you have the right conditions for proving your case.