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Necessity or Justification as a Defense

NJ Criminal Lawyer

New Jersey law provides for an affirmative defense known as Necessity or Justification. As the terms imply, this NJ criminal defense applies to those very limited instances where conduct which would otherwise be criminal in nature is excused because it was necessary or justified. For obvious reasons, the defense only applies when a narrow set of requirements have been met. These requirements were set forth in State v. Josephs, 174 N.J. 44, 102 (2002) wherein our Supreme Court reiterated that there must be:

  1. A perceived risk of harm on the part of the defendant;
  2. The threat or risk of harm was not created or contributed to by the actor;
  3. The harm was unavoidable absent violation of the NJ criminal statute in question; and
  4. The potential harm was significant and outweighs the goals to be protected by the criminal statute.

A NJ criminal lawyer at the Law Offices of Jonathan Marshall is prepared to answer any questions you may possess regarding the defense of necessity or justification. Please do not hesitate to contact us as initial consultations are without charge.

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The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall represent New Jersey adult and juvenile clients from offices in Shrewsbury, Cranford, Toms River, Jersey City and New Brunswick. We provide prompt and convenient client service to people in such communities as Newark, Plainfield, Freehold, Eatontown, East Brunswick, Edison, Woodbridge, Westfield, Clark, Rahway, Piscataway, Sayreville, Elizabeth, Middletown, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Jackson, Lakewood, Point Pleasant, Edison, Old Bridge, Aberdeen, Linden, Belmar, Eatontown, Hazlet, Holmdel, Ocean, Sea Bright, Hoboken, Weehawken, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights, Tinton Falls, Wall, Brick, Dover, Jackson, and other locations in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Union County, Ocean County, Burlington County, Mercer County, Essex County, Hudson County and Morris County.

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