Duress & Consent Defense

New Jersey Criminal Lawyer

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New Jersey’s criminal code recognizes the affirmative defenses of duress and consent. Either defense can provide an exceptional basis for defeating a criminal charge. If you feel that you were under duress or that there was consent for your actions, a criminal lawyer at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can assist you. Every attorney at our law firm has considerable experience in defending criminal charges in NJ and would be happy to speak to you free of charge.

The commission of a criminal offense shall be negated based on duress where the accused committed the offense. It is because of force or threats of force under circumstances that a reasonable person would also have been unable to resist. In order to succeed on a duress defense, an accused must therefore satisfy a two-prong test. First, an accused must establish that he was actually under duress. Second, the duress must be such that a reasonable person in the shoes of the accused would have succumbed to the force or threat of force.

Consent is a defense if it negates an element of a criminal offense or where it eliminates the harm to be addressed in a particular criminal law. Consent is not a defense where it is given by an incompetent, someone unable to make a reasonable judgment, or is induced by force or deception. Additionally, consent to bodily harm is limited to situations where the threat or physical damage is not serious.