Alaska Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions

AK A.C.P.J.I. 11.81.320 Affirmative Defense of Necessity


The defendant has raised the affirmative defense of necessity.  To establish this affirmative defense, the defendant must prove that each of the following statements is more likely true than not true:


(1) the defendant believed that [he] [she] violated the law to prevent a significant harm;

(2) the defendant believed that [he] [she] had no adequate alternative to violating the law;

(3) the defendant’s beliefs described in statements (1) and (2) were reasonable; and

(4) the harm caused was not disproportionate to the harm avoided.


The burden is on the defendant to prove necessity.  The defendant does not have to prove necessity beyond a reasonable doubt.  Rather, the burden is on the defendant to prove necessity by a preponderance of the evidence, which is a lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt.  Preponderance of the evidence means “more likely true than not true.”


If you find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of                 charged in count _____ but you also find that the defendant has proved by a preponderance of the evidence the affirmative defense of necessity, then you must find the defendant not guilty on that count.