It is a defense to the offense charged that the defendant’s conduct was legally justified. The law recognizes the “choice of evils” defense, also referred to as the “necessity” defense.

The “choice of evils” defense justifies the defendant’s conduct if the defendant reasonably believes such conduct is necessary to avoid an imminent harm or evil to [himself/herself] [another person]. The conduct is justifiable if the harm or evil sought to be avoided by such conduct is greater than that sought to be prevented by the law defining the offense charged.

If the prosecution has not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant’s conduct was not legally justified by the “choice of evils” defense, then you must find the defendant not guilty of (offense). If the prosecution has done so, then you must find that the “choice of evils” defense does not apply.

[If you find that the defendant was reckless or negligent in bringing about the situation requiring a choice of harms or evils or in appraising the necessity for his/her conduct, the justification afforded by this defense is unavailable as a defense to the offense of (any offense for which the requisite state of mind is either recklessly or negligently).]

H.R.S. §703-302