MD CJI&C § 8.12. Necessity

MD CJI&C § 8.12. Necessity

State: Maryland

2 MD Criminal Jury Instructions and Commentary § 8.12
Maryland Criminal Jury Instructions and Commentary, Third Edition
Chapter 8 DEFENSES
K. Necessity

CJI&C § 8.12. Necessity

You have heard evidence that the defendant may have committed the crime for which [he] [she] is accused out of necessity. The defense of necessity is available when a person is forced to choose between two evils, committing a crime or a greater evil or harm, and the defendant acted to avoid the greater harm.

For the defense of necessity to excuse criminal conduct,

(1) (insert name of defendant) or another person must have been in present and immediate danger of death or serious bodily injury, namely (insert threat or danger), or have actually and reasonably believed [himself] [herself] or others to be in present and immediate danger of death or serious bodily injury;

(2) (insert name of defendant) must not have intentionally or recklessly placed [himself] [herself] in a situation in which it was probable that [he] [she] would be forced to choose the criminal conduct;

(3) (insert name of defendant) must not have had a reasonable, legal alternative to committing the criminal conduct of (insert alleged crime); and,

(4) (insert name of defendant) must have stopped or discontinued doing the criminal conduct as soon as the danger or apparent danger ended.

The burden of proof is on the State. Therefore, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act out of necessity. You must find the defendant not guilty if, after a full and fair consideration of all the facts and circumstances in evidence, you have a reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant committed the crime charged out of necessity. On the other hand, if the State convinces you beyond a reasonable doubt that at least one of the above factors was absent, then you [should] [must] conclude that the defense of necessity does not excuse the defendant from committing the crime(s) charged.

[Instruction 5.18 in 1988 Edition]

You have heard evidence that the defendant may have committed the crime for which [he] [she] is accused out of necessity. The defense of necessity is available when a person is forced to choose between two evils, committing a crime or a greater evil or harm, and the defendant acted to avoid the greater harm.

For the defense of necessity to excuse criminal conduct,

(1) (insert name of defendant) or another person must have been in present and immediate danger of death or serious bodily injury, namely (insert threat or danger), or have actually and reasonably believed [himself] [herself] or others to be in present and immediate danger of death or serious bodily injury;

(2) (insert name of defendant) must not have intentionally or recklessly placed [himself] [herself] in a situation in which it was probable that [he] [she] would be forced to choose the criminal conduct;

(3) (insert name of defendant) must not have had a reasonable, legal alternative to committing the criminal conduct of (insert alleged crime); and,

(4) (insert name of defendant) must have stopped or discontinued doing the criminal conduct as soon as the danger or apparent danger ended.

The burden of proof is on the State. Therefore, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act under necessity. If, after a full and fair consideration of all the facts and circumstances in evidence, you have a reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant committed the crime charged under necessity as it has been defined, you must find the defendant not guilty. On the other hand, if the State convinces you beyond a reasonable doubt that at least one of the above factors was absent, then you [should] [must] conclude that the defense of necessity does not excuse the defendant from committing the crime(s) charged.

By | 2018-04-06T07:15:08+00:00 April 6th, 2018|Comments Off on MD CJI&C § 8.12. Necessity