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Duress Defense in DUI Cases

Although rarely used in DUI cases, the Florida duress defense can apply when someone forces another person to drive or take actual physical control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated or impaired. In certain cases, a person may commit a DUI on an involuntary basis because of a particular set of circumstances that create an impending, imminent, and real danger to the defendant or another person the defendant is protecting.

In certain cases, a person may commit a DUI on an involuntary basis because of a particular set of circumstances that create an impending, imminent, and real danger to the defendant or another person the defendant is protecting.

The Florida duress defense may be available in a DUI case when the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe that the danger was impending, imminent and real and drove under the influence for that reason. A standard jury instruction has been approved by the Florida Supreme Court for necessity and duress. See Florida Standard Jury Instruction 3.6(k).

The defense is most often used when a battered woman drives to escape an incident of domestic violence or when the victim of a crime drives away to avoid being further victimized.

Contact a drunk driving defense attorney in Tampa, FL, to discuss how the duress defense might apply to your Florida DUI case. Call 813-250-0500.