What is Duress?

Duress occurs when an individual reasonably believes that another individual will imminently inflict death or great bodily harm upon him or a member of his family if he does not commit the crime that he is forced to commit.  If an individual commits the crime because he was threatened by force or violence, he may raise the defense of duress.  If this defense is properly raised, the defendant will be acquitted of the crime.

Will Duress Work as a Defense to Homicide?

Duress will generally not work as a defense to a homicide charge.  However, one charged with homicide may raise other defenses, such as insanity or intoxication.

Some Crimes that Duress May be a Legal Defense to

  • Strict Liability Offenses
  • Burglary
  • Arson
  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Battery
  • Assault

What to Do if You Were Forced to Commit a Crime Under Duress

If you or a loved one were forced to commit a crime while under duress, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.  Criminal charges can negatively impact your life and your family members’ lives.  Contact a knowledgeable Lead Counsel Criminal Defense Lawyer in your area today.  You can find experienced attorneys by searching under practice area within your state. 

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