About This Chapter
Justification & Excuse Defenses - Chapter Summary
This self-paced and mobile-friendly criminal law chapter outlines topics about justification and excuse defenses. Follow along with our expert instructors to review the fundamentals of a duress defense, insanity defense, necessity defense and much more. In addition to short lessons, this chapter comes with interactive self-assessments that can help you retain the information you study. Use any computer or mobile device to access these resources, and feel free to reach out to our instructors if you have any questions. The chapter is also available at any time of day or night. When you're finished with the chapter, you'll be able to:
- Recognize types of defenses that are used against criminal charges
- Interpret self-defense, necessity defense and duress defense laws
- Explain intoxication-related laws
- Discuss significant cases that used an insanity defense, criminal insanity and mistake of fact
- Summarize the history of the M'Naghten rule
- Understand the legal aspects of psychological evaluations
- Define battered woman syndrome
1. Types of Defense Against a Criminal Charge
In a criminal trial, the accused party is able to present a defense. Learn the various types of defense against a criminal charge, including lack of choice, lack of knowledge, double jeopardy, and insanity.
2. Self-Defense: Definition & Laws
Self-defense is force that is justified when it is used to protect yourself. Explore the definition and laws around self-defense and requirements, including how the threat must be imminent, the fear of harm must be reasonable, and the response must be appropriate.
3. Necessity Defense: Definition, Laws & Examples
Necessity defense applies when a crime committed by a person is justified due to certain circumstances. Explore the definition and elements of the defense of necessity and discover applicable laws and examples.
4. Duress Defense: Definition, Laws & Examples
Duress defense refers to the defense of being forced or threatened that led a person to commit a criminal act. Explore the definition and examples of duress defense, and discover relevant laws applicable to duress defense in legal cases.
5. Intoxication & Law: Definition & Overview
Though driving under the influence is illegal, intoxication can be used as a legal defense for other crimes. Explore the definitions of key terms like mens rea, criminal intent, voluntary, and involuntary to get an overview of the relationship between intoxication and the law.
6. Criminal Insanity: Cases, Law & Defense
Criminal insanity is a legal defense that can be used to avoid conviction for a crime. Discover what criminal insanity is, using landmark cases, law, and defense that define what it means to be criminally insane.
7. The Insanity Defense: Definition, Famous Cases, Pros & Cons
The insanity defense is a type of defense where the person charged admits to the action accused, but pleads not guilty due to mental illness. Explore the pros and cons of this defense type through a set of famous case studies.
8. M'Naghten Rule: Definition & History
In legal terms, the M'Naghten rule deals with the defendant's plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. Learn about legal insanity and explore the definition and history of the M'Naghten rule.
9. Psychological Evaluations & the Law: Competency to Stand Trial and the Insanity Defense
By law, some individuals charged by a crime must undergo psychological evaluations to determine if they are competent to stand trial, as well as to determine if they should use the insanity defense. Learn about psychological abnormalities, explore forensic psychology, and review competence and the insanity defense, including its controversies.
10. Mistake of Fact: Definition, Forms & Cases
A mistake of fact in the legal realm refers to a material error that may appear on a contract. Explore the definition and forms of mistake of fact in a contract and discover two significant cases that demonstrate the legal significance of mistake of fact.
11. Battered Woman Syndrome: Definition & Examples
Battered woman syndrome is a condition that occurs in women who experience domestic violence in an abusive relationship. Explore domestic violence statistics, and examine the definition of battered woman syndrome through examples.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 220 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Other chapters within the Criminal Justice 107: Criminal Law course
- Criminal Law: Purposes, Scope & Sources
- Understanding the Types of Jurisdiction
- Essential Elements of a Crime
- Criminal Liability Types
- Substantive & Procedural Law
- Punishment & Sentencing in Criminal Law
- Legal Overview of Homicide
- Sexual Offenses & Offenders Overview
- Robbery, Theft, Burglary & Property Crimes
- Assault & Battery Overview
- False Imprisonment & Kidnapping
- White, Blue & Green-Collar Crime