Legal Defense Duress


Many people commit crimes, such as Theft or Extortion, because they feel they have no other options and need the money. However, there are situations in which people commit crimes because they truly have no other options as there is an immediate threat to their lives or the lives of others. In these cases, the Legal Defense of Duress may apply.

Duress is a rarely-used defense that applies in situations in which someone commits a crime only because of an immediate threat to life posed by another. The typical example is committing a criminal act only because there is literally “a gun to your head.”

Duress is a valid defense for any criminal act except Homicide under California Penal Code 187 PC. This means that under the law, someone is not permitted to trade a life of another to spare their own, even if they are under duress.

For a Duress defense to apply, there must be an immediate threat to life and a subsequent demand or request to commit a criminal offense. A threat to destroy property or a distant threat would not be enough to support a Duress defense. Additionally there must be a reasonable belief in the viability of the threat.

Defenses that are related to the Duress defense include the Necessity defense and Self-Defense.

Mounting an effective Duress defense requires the assistance of a skilled Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney. Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who is highly effective at raising legal defenses and proactively fighting for his clients who are charged with criminal offenses. Mr. Kraut is highly regarded throughout the court system and has established key relationships with law enforcement and prosecutors. If you or a loved have been charged with a criminal offense in the Los Angeles area, it is critical that you contact Mr. Kraut immediately.

For more information about the Duress Defense, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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