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General Defences Advice Online

Fast, confidential, legal advice online; from UK qualified barristers. Get an answer tailored to your exact legal problem for just £25.

General Defences Explained

As well as specific defences to particular crimes, there exists a number of defences available to all crimes. These include Automatism, Intoxication, Mistake and Duress.

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Sample Questions

  • “… several weeks ago I went to stay with a friend who had just bought a new house…we decided to go on a girls night out to celebrate her new start…  unfortunately I have a very low tolerance for alcohol and became drunk quite early into the evening…I assured my friend I would be fine to return to the new house and that she should carry on…I took a taxi to the street went to the house but realised the keys my friend had given me were the wrong keys…I tried the back door this too was locked…eventually I broke a small window and gained entrance… I was awakened by police who arrested me for breaking and entering… I was at my friends neighbours house…I have never been in trouble before…”

  • “…my neighbour…whom I have been in dispute for several years has recently taken to urinating on my front door in the early hours of the morning… I even managed to videotape his disgusting behaviour on camera…  I contacted the police and pressed charges…I now have a letter from his solicitor informing me {my neighbour] intends to rely on the defence of automatism, that he was sleepwalking when committing this vile act… can you clarify this defence…”


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