Law Office of James A. Conley
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What is an "affirmative defense"?

It is not uncommon for Washington residents to deny accusations of wrongdoing, and this strategy is often employed in criminal cases in which people are wrongly accused of committing crimes. If the facts do not prove that a person engaged in criminal conduct, they should not be convicted of the accusations that have been brought against them.

However, from time to time an individual may have actually committed what is technically a crime, but may still have defense strategy options. Affirmative defenses are available when certain facts surrounding an alleged crime release an individual from culpability. For example, if a person is charged with assaulting another person, they may admit to inflicting harm on the other person, but may be able to claim that the other person consented to the allegedly criminal conduct.

Another example of an affirmative defense arises from drunk driving charges. A person may admit to driving when they had alcohol in their system, but may assert that they had to drive because they were forced to do so to avoid a greater harm. Affirmative defenses do not require individuals to deny potentially criminal conduct, but offer additional facts to explain why that conduct should not result in criminal liability.

Not every alleged crime will have an applicable affirmative defense and denial may be a good strategy for men and women who have been falsely accused of committing crimes. In order to develop an effective plan for defending one's self from criminal charges, it is important to understand all available criminal defense options.

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The Law Office of James A. Conley

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Edmonds, WA 98020

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