Can I Be Charged With a Crime If I Was Forced Into Committing It?

man in handcuffs

You can claim that you were forced into committing a crime, but that does not mean that the prosecutor will take your defense seriously. You are still likely to face criminal charges even when someone else coerced or threatened you into committing a crime. You have to begin forming an affirmative defense and show that you never would have done what you did if you were not concerned about the safety of yourself or others. A Bergen County, New Jersey criminal defense lawyer from our firm can help you do that.

Should I Try to Bargain With the Police?

You may think that you can simply tell the police that you were forced into committing a crime. They will believe you, right? Then they can just run right out and arrest the true perpetrator. Justice is served!

Unfortunately, this is not how things tend to go. The police are not on your side. Giving them any information at all can just help them build a case against you. Instead of answering any questions or volunteering any information, you should ask for your attorney.

Can I Claim Duress If I Was Forced Into Committing a Crime?

When someone is forced into committing a crime, they may try to claim that they were under duress. A duress defense has some key qualities that must be met. You must show that:

  • You credibly believed that there was a threat to you or others
  • You had no realistic way of getting out of this situation
  • You did not do something to instigate and cause this situation

If you can show all of that, you may be able to claim duress.

How Will the Prosecutor Argue That I Was Not Forced Into Committing a Crime?

Of course, no prosecutor is going to just let that defense go unchallenged. They will look for ways to poke holes in your claims and show that you were completely to blame for your own actions. They could argue that, objectively, the threat against you was not believable or that you had an opportunity to extricate yourself from the situation and contact the authorities.

Do I Need to Pay For a Lawyer?

This is why you need an attorney who can devote the proper amount of time to your case and your defense. A public defender works hard, but they may be buried in cases and unable to really focus on yours. When you hire one of our lawyers, you know that you will get the kind of attention you and your case deserve.

Meet With Our Team Today

Even if you were forced into committing a crime, you need to take the charges against you seriously. It is unlikely that the state will just drop the charges if you explain yourself. You need an experienced defense attorney who can help you navigate this situation. So contact the Law Office of E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi and schedule a consultation today.

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