When is the defense of necessity applicable in a criminal case in Los Angeles?
In general, the defense of necessity is relevant when somebody does something that they wouldn’t normally do because they believe it is necessary under the circumstances to do it. In other words, they may do something illegal, but they’re doing it because they believe there is no other reasonable choice. As you can guess this defense does not come up very often because it is subject to abuse. Most of criminal defense is common sense, and in order to use this defense it’s going to have to make sense under the particular facts of the case.
For the defense to actually work it is likely going to have to be a life threatening situation. For example, if someone was in a vehicle being chased by a dangerous felon, this may warrant them running some red lights and driving too fast. Especially if the person pursuing them was known to be dangerous or armed with a weapon.
This will likely be judged by the reasonable person standard. In other words, was the necessity to break the law reasonable under the circumstances the person was faced with. This is something that would have to be judged by the trier of fact. If you are involved in a situation where you believe that the necessity defense is appropriate, call and set up a consultation so we can go over the case step-by-step.