How might an affirmative defense help me face my DUI charge?
Belleville residents who have faced DUI charges and who have had to work to defend themselves against the very serious consequences that can attach to convictions understand the importance of crafting solid defense strategies before they appear in court. While innocence and mistake can seem like the most relevant explanations for why a person should not be charged with DUI crimes, there are several affirmative defenses that may actually give individuals a way to explain their actions without exposing them to undue liability.
An affirmative defense is a defense in which the suspect does not deny that they engaged in the allegedly criminal behavior, but rather explains that engaging in the behavior may have been a better option than not. For example, the affirmative defense of necessity may be used by a DUI defendant if not driving would have resulted in greater harm than actually getting behind the wheel.
Similarly, the affirmative defense of duress may be used in some cases to explain the rationale a person used to choose to drink and drive. If a person is forced to do something against their will in order to avoid a greater threat or harm, then it may be said that they acted under duress. Driving while drunk in order to avoid the immediate danger posed by another party may provide a person with the facts they need to put forth a duress defense.
Affirmative defenses to DUI crimes can be tricky to employ since they generally require suspects to admit that they broke the law. However, extenuating circumstances may also exist that can give DUI defendants the backing they need to overcome their DUI and drunk driving charges and get back to their normal lives.