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Affirmative defenses against drunk driving charges

When it comes to getting arrested and accused of drunk driving, Alberta residents do not simply have to accept the charges. Indeed, there are some criminal defense strategies that one might be able to employ in order to try to get the charges dismissed and/or achieve a verdict of not guilty. Among those defense strategies are those referred to as "affirmative" defenses, which involve admitting to committing the crime while providing a reasonable excuse for doing so. There are five categories of affirmative defenses.

Necessity is the criminal defense where you argue that it was necessary to commit a crime in order to prevent a worse result from happening. For example, someone might need to drive drunk in order to deliver someone to the hospital for a lifesaving medical treatment. Duress is a defense where you show that you were forced to commit a crime under the threat of a serious injury.

Entrapment refers to when an officer tells you to commit a crime and you do it. If you can show that you are not someone predisposed to committing the crime at issue, then the defense of entrapment could work. Mistake of fact refers to what happens when someone genuinely believes that he or she is not intoxicated and mistakenly drives drunk. Similarly, involuntary intoxication is a defense that claims you got drunk unknowingly and drove your vehicle without realizing that you were intoxicated.

As you can see, sometimes admitting to committing an unlawful act is a way of preventing a conviction in the context of an affirmative defense. If someone accused of drunk driving can show that he or she had a good reason for either intentionally or unintentionally committing a particular crime, then it could result in a verdict of not guilty.

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