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Criminal Defenses of Compulsion, Entrapment, and Necessity

May 27th, 2015 at 12:51 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois criminal statutes,Sometimes the job of a criminal defense attorney is to convince a prosecutor, judge, or jury that the defendant did not do what he or she is accused of doing. In other cases, however, the defendant may have committed a crime, but he or she had a good, legally recognized reason for doing it. Three of these possible criminal defenses are compulsion, entrapment, and necessity.


Compulsion is a legally recognized defense in Illinois. In Illinois a person is not guilty of a crime if he or she believes that death or great bodily harm will be inflicted upon him or her, his or her spouse, or his or her child if the person does not do the acts that would otherwise be criminal. The person must be committing the acts that would otherwise be criminal under the threat or menace of imminent infliction of death or great bodily harm in order for this defense to apply. Historically some courts held that wives were entitled to a presumption of compulsion if their husbands were present when they committed what would seem to be criminal acts, but that is no longer the law in Illinois.


The entrapment defense means that a person is not guilty of an offense if his or her otherwise illegal conduct was incited by a public official or employee or agent for the purpose of obtaining evidence for the prosecution of that person. But this is not always a defense. Think, for a moment, of the cases where an undercover cop poses as a drug dealer or prostitute in order to catch people in the market for these illegal goods and services. The reason these cases usually do not involve entrapment defenses is that a person cannot claim entrapment if he or she was “predisposed” to commit the offense and the public agent, official, or employee merely affords them the opportunity to do so.


Necessity is the defense that covers those situations where committing a crime is the lesser of two evils. If a person commits a crime, he or she is legally justified in doing so if he or she reasonably believed his or her conduct was necessary in order to avoid a public or private injury greater than the injury that might reasonably result from his or her own conduct. This defense only applies if the defendant is blameless in creating the situation to begin with.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Are you being accused of a crime? Do any of the defense above sound like they might apply to your situation? Then you need the help of a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney like Christopher Cosley. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at (847)394-3200 and we can schedule a meeting to discuss your situation and what defenses, if any, may apply to you.

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