Criminal Defense in Orange County

Using the Necessity Defense in a DUI Case

California is one of the few states that recognize the defense of "necessity" to excuse driving under the influence (DUI) when it is done only to avoid an even greater harm. Your criminal defense attorney can successfully argue this defense if you were confronted with a natural physical force that was beyond your control and would almost certainly cause serious injury. In other words, you must have been placed in a situation where you had to choose the lesser of two evils. You had to drive while intoxicated in order to prevent injury to yourself or to someone else.

An example of this that you witnessed a crash leaving a child severely injured. You knew that if you wait for the ambulance to come and take the child to the hospital, she would not make it. The law will allow you to drive the girl to the hospital even though you are drunk. The necessity of avoiding the greater harm of the child dying would serve as a defense to the drunk driving charge. However, the DUI defense will not apply if you had other legal alternatives or caused the situation, which created the need to choose from the choice of evils.

So, if you have been arrested for a DUI, it is crucial that you consult with an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer to determine if the necessity defense is appropriate in your situation. If so, your attorney will advise you that you must admit what you did was wrong, and that you would not have driven while intoxicated except for the extreme nature of the circumstances. If you are interested in finding all the possible defenses to your DUI case, contact The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs for a free consultation.