Legal Defenses
•    Insanity
•    Automatism
•    Intoxication
•    Duress
•    Self-Defense
•    Alibi
•    Necessity
•    Mistake of Fact
•    Provocation
•    Officially induced error
•    Entrapment
•    Double Jeopardy

•    Accused cannot perform the Mens Rea of the offence or is not fit to stand trial.

To Prove Insanity you must:
•    Prove an illness/a disease of the mind
•    Prove the illness made them unable to understand the nature of their actions
•    The Accused proves insanity, not the Crown
•    Person not guilty because of insanity = mental institution (then released when not insane or indefinite confinement)

•    Unconscious and involuntary behaviour (i.e. sleepwalking, amnesia)
•    No Mens Rea

•    When someone is influenced by alcohol or drugs
•    Voluntary intoxication is not a defence
•    Allowed in General Intent cases; where the accused intended the to commit a criminal offence but not all the harm that resulted – assault and manslaughter
•    Not accepted for Specific Intent; where the accused needs to have intended the crime – murder, theft, robbery.

Duress or Compulsion
•    Someone is forced to commit an offence
•    The person under duress (illegal coercion usually through being threatened or the use of violence) must be present when the offence is committed
•    They must believe that the threat will be carried out

Self Defense and Defense of Property
•    To protect yourself, anyone under your protection, moveable property, your dwelling, and real property
•    May only use reasonable force to either prevent the assault or its repetition

•    Accused claims not to be present at the time of the offence
•    Evidence or proof must be presented demonstrating that the accused was somewhere else

•    One is justified in breaking the law if they avoid a greater harm or achieve a greater good
•    Examples:  Self-defense and duress

Mistake of Fact
•    When there is an honest mistake regarding circumstances (i.e. not knowing that it is marijuana); no Mens Rea
•    Mistake of law is not a defense in some cases (i.e. not knowing possession of marijuana is illegal)

Mistake of Law/Officially Induced Error
•    Following the instructions of an official which violates the law

•    Something causes another person to lose his/her self control (i.e. an act or an insult)
•    Can reduce the charge but does not negate the offence.  (e.g. murder to manslaughter)


•    Accepted if the accused can demonstrate that they were “set-up” or trapped into doing something they otherwise would not have done.

Double Jeopardy
•    In order to promote justice and fairness society will not charge a person with the same crime twice.
•    Cases can be appealed but once the appeal process has been exhausted then the case is finished.

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