Revised Arizona Jury Instruction (RAJI 4th)

AZ RAJI4th 4.17 − Necessity Defense

The defendant was justified in engaging in conduct that constituted the offense[s] of [   ] if:

  1. A reasonable person in the defendant’s situation would be compelled to engage in the conduct; and
  2. The defendant had no reasonable alternative to avoid imminent public or private injury greater than the injury the defendant reasonably believed might have resulted from the conduct constituting the offense[s]; and
  3. The defendant did not intentionally, knowingly or recklessly place [himself] [herself] in a situation in which it was probable that the defendant would have to engage in the conduct constituting the offense[s].

You must measure the defendant’s belief against what a reasonable person in the situation would have believed.

The State has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act with such justification. If the State fails to carry this burden, then you must find the defendant not guilty of the charge.