MODEL PENAL CODE
Section 2.04. Ignorance or Mistake.
(1) Ignorance or mistake as to a matter of fact or law is a defense if:
(a) the ignorance or mistake negatives the purpose, knowledge, belief, recklessness or negligence required to establish a material element of the offense; or
(b) the law provides that the state of mind established by such ignorance or mistake constitutes a defense.
(2) Although ignorance or mistake would otherwise afford a defense to the offense charged, the defense is not available if the defendant would be guilty of another offense had the situation been as he supposed. In such case, however, the ignorance or mistake of the defendant shall reduce the grade and degree of the offense of which he may be convicted to those of the offense of which he would be guilty had the situation been as he supposed.
(3) A belief that conduct does not legally constitute an offense is a defense to a prosecution for that offense based upon such conduct when:
(a) the statute or other enactment defining the offense is not known to the actor and has not been published or otherwise reasonably made available prior to the conduct alleged; or
(b) he acts in reasonable reliance upon an official statement of the law, afterward determined to be invalid or erroneous, contained in (i) a statute or other enactment; (ii) a judicial decision, opinion or judgment; (iii) an administrative order or grant of permission; or (iv) an official interpretation of the public officer or body charged by law with responsibility for the interpretation, administration or enforcement of the law defining the offense.
(4) The defendant must prove a defense arising under Subsection
(3) of this Section by a preponderance of evidence.
Section 2.08. Intoxication.
(1) Except as provided in Subsection (4) of this Section, intoxication of the actor is not a defense unless it negatives an element of the offense.
(2) When recklessness establishes an element of the offense, if the actor, due to self-induced intoxication, is unaware of a risk of which he would have been aware had he been sober, such unawareness is immaterial.
(3) Intoxication does not, in itself, constitute mental disease within the meaning of Section 4.01.
(4) Intoxication which (a) is not self-induced or (b) is pathological is an affirmative defense if by reason of such intoxication the actor at the time of his conduct lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate its criminality [wrongfulness] or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law.
(5) Definitions. In this Section unless a different meaning plainly is required:
(a) "intoxication" means a disturbance of mental or physical capacities resulting from the introduction of substances into the body;
(b) "self-induced intoxication" means intoxication caused by substances which the actor knowingly introduces into his body, the tendency of which to cause intoxication he knows or ought to know, unless he introduces them pursuant to medical advice or under such circumstances as would afford a defense to a charge of crime;
(c) "pathological intoxication" means intoxication
grossly excessive in degree, given the amount of the intoxicant, to which
the actor does not know he is susceptible.
Section 2.09. Duress.
(1) It is an affirmative defense that the actor engaged in the conduct charged to constitute an offense because he was coerced to do so by the use of, or a threat to use, unlawful force against his person or the person of another, which a person of reasonable firmness in his situation would have been unable to resist.
(2) The defense provided by this Section is unavailable if the actor recklessly placed himself in a situation in which it was probable that he would be subjected to duress. The defense is also unavailable if he was negligent in placing himself in such a situation, whenever negligence suffices to establish culpability for the offense charged.
(3) It is not a defense that a woman acted on the command of her husband, unless she acted under such coercion as would establish a defense under this Section. [The presumption that a woman, acting in the presence of her husband, is coerced is abolished.]
(4) When the conduct of the actor would otherwise be justifiable
under Section 3.02, this Section
does not preclude such defense.
Section 2.10. Military Orders.
It is an affirmative
defense that the actor, in engaging in the conduct charged to constitute
an offense, does no more than execute an order
of his superior in the armed services which he does not know to be
Section 2.11. Consent.
(1) In General. The consent of the victim to conduct charged to constitute an offense or to the result thereof is a defense if such consent negatives an element of the offense or precludes the infliction of the harm or evil sought to be prevented by the law defining the offense.
(2) Consent to Bodily Harm. When conduct is charged to constitute an offense because it causes or threatens bodily harm, consent to such conduct or to the infliction of such harm is a defense if:
(a) the bodily harm consented to or threatened by the conduct consented to is not serious; or
(b) the conduct and the harm are reasonably foreseeable hazards of joint participation in a lawful athletic contest or competitive sport; or
(c) the consent establishes a justification for the conduct under Article 3 of the Code.
(3) Ineffective Consent. Unless otherwise provided by the Code or by the law defining the offense, assent does not constitute consent if:
(a) it is given by a person who is legally incompetent to authorize the conduct charged to constitute the offense; or
(b) it is given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect or intoxication is manifestly unable or known by the actor to be unable to make a reasonable judgment as to the nature or harmfulness of the conduct charged to constitute the offense; or
(c) it is given by a person whose improvident consent is sought to be prevented by the law defining the offense; or
(d) it is induced by force, duress or deception of
a kind sought to be prevented by the law defining the offense.
Section 3.02. Justification Generally: Choice of Evils.
(1) Conduct which the actor believes to be necessary to avoid a harm or evil to himself or to another is justifiable, provided that:
(a) the harm or evil sought to be avoided by such conduct is greater than that sought to be prevented by the law defining the offense charged; . . .
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(2) When the actor was reckless
or negligent in bringing about the situation requiring a choice of
harms or evils or in appraising the necessity for his conduct, the justification
afforded by this Section is unavailable in a prosecution for any offense
for which recklessness or negligence, as the case may be, suffices to establish
Section 3.09. Mistake of Law as to Unlawfulness of Force or Legality of Arrest; Reckless or Negligent Use of Otherwise Justifiable Force; Reckless or Negligent Injury or Risk of Injury to Innocent Persons.
(1) The justification afforded by Sections 3.04 to 3.07, inclusive, is unavailable when:
(a) the actor's belief in the unlawfulness of the force or conduct against which he employs protective force or his belief in the lawfulness of an arrest which he endeavors to effect by force is erroneous; and
(b) his error is due to ignorance or mistake as to the provisions of the Code, any other provision of the criminal law or the law governing the legality of an arrest or search.
(2) When the actor believes that the use of force upon or toward the person of another is necessary for any of the purposes for which such belief would establish a justification under Sections 3.03 to 3.08 but the actor is reckless or negligent in having such belief or in acquiring or failing to acquire any knowledge or belief which is material to the justifiability of his use of force, the justification afforded by those Sections is unavailable in a prosecution for an offense for which recklessness or negligence, as the case may be, suffices to establish culpability.
(3) When the actor is justified under Sections 3.03
to 3.08 in using force upon or toward the person of another but he
recklessly or negligently injures
or creates a risk of injury to innocent persons, the justification afforded
by those Sections is unavailable in a prosecution for such recklessness
or negligence towards innocent persons.
Section 4.01. Mental Disease or Defect Excluding Responsibility.
(1) A person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality [wrongfulness] of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law.
(2) As used in this Article, the terms "mental disease or defect"
do not include an abnormality manifested only by repeated criminal or otherwise
Section 4.10. Immaturity Excluding Criminal Convictions; Transfer of Proceedings to Juvenile Court.
(1) A person shall not be tried for or convicted of an offense if:
(a) at the time of the conduct charged to constitute the offense he was less than sixteen years of age [, in which case the Juvenile Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction*]; or
(b) at the time of the conduct charged to constitute the offense he was sixteen or seventeen years of age, unless:
(i) the Juvenile Court has no jurisdiction over him, or,
(ii) the Juvenile Court has entered an order waiving jurisdiction and consenting to the institution of criminal proceedings against him.
(2) No court shall have jurisdiction to try or convict a person of an offense if criminal proceedings against him are barred by Subsection (1) of this Section. When it appears that a person charged with the commission of an offense may be of such an age that criminal proceedings may be barred under Subsection (1) of this Section, the Court shall hold a hearing thereon, and the burden shall be on the prosecution to establish to the satisfaction of the Court that the criminal proceeding is not barred upon such grounds. If the Court determines that the proceeding is barred, custody of the person charged shall be surrendered to the Juvenile Court, and the case, including all papers and processes relating thereto, shall be transferred.
* The bracketed words are unnecessary if the Juvenile Court Act so provides or is amended accordingly.
Section 210.3. Manslaughter.
(1) Criminal homicide constitutes manslaughter when:
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(b) a homicide which would otherwise be murder is committed under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance for which there is reasonable explanation or excuse. The reasonableness of such explanation or excuse shall be determined from the viewpoint of a person in the actor's situation under the circumstances as he believes them to be.
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Section 212.4. Interference with Custody.
(1) Custody of Children. A person commits an offense if he knowingly or recklessly takes or entices any child under the age of 18 from the custody of its parent, guardian or other lawful custodian, when he has no privilege to do so. It is an affirmative defense that:
(a) the actor believed that his action was necessary to preserve the child from danger to its welfare; . . .
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Section 212.5. Criminal Coercion.
(1) Offense Defined. A person is guilty of criminal coercion if, with purpose unlawfully to restrict another's freedom of action to his detriment, he threatens to:
(a) commit any criminal offense; or
(b) accuse anyone of a criminal offense; or
(c) expose any secret tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute; or
(d) take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action.
It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs (b), (c) or (d) that the actor believed the accusation or secret to be true or the proposed official action justified and that his purpose was limited to compelling the other to behave in a way reasonably related to the circumstances which were the subject of the accusation, exposure or proposed official action, as by desisting from further misbehavior, making good a wrong done, refraining from taking any action or responsibility for which the actor believes the other disqualified.
(2) Grading. Criminal coercion is a misdemeanor
unless the threat is to commit a felony or the actor's purpose is felonious,
in which cases the offense is a felony
of the third degree.
ARTICLE 213. SEXUAL OFFENSES
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Section 213.6. Provisions Generally Applicable to Article 213.
(1) Mistake as to Age.
Whenever in this Article the criminality of conduct depends on a child's
being below the age of 10, it is no defense that the actor did not know
the child's age, or reasonably
believed the child to be older than 10. When criminality depends
on the child's being below a critical age other than 10, it is a defense
for the actor to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he reasonably
believed the child to be above the critical age.
Section 221.2. Criminal Trespass.
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(3) Defenses. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this Section that:
(a) a building or occupied structure involved in an offense under Subsection (1) was abandoned; or
(b) the premises were at the time open to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the premises; or
(c) the actor reasonably
believed that the owner of the premises, or other person empowered
to license access thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain.
Section 223.1. Consolidation of Theft Offenses; Grading; Provisions Applicable to Theft Generally.
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(3) Claim of Right. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for theft that the actor:
(a) was unaware that the property or service was that of another; or
(b) acted under an honest claim of right to the property or service involved or that he had a right to acquire or dispose of it as he did; or
(c) took property exposed
for sale, intending to purchase and pay for it promptly, or reasonably
believing that the owner, if present, would have consented.
Section 223.9. Unauthorized Use of Automobiles and Other Vehicles.
A person commits a misdemeanor
if he operates another's automobile, airplane, motorcycle, motorboat, or
other motor-propelled vehicle without consent of the owner. It is
an affirmative defense to
prosecution under this Section that the actor reasonably
believed that the owner would have consented to the operation had he
known of it.
Section 242.5. Compounding.
A person commits a misdemeanor if he accepts or agrees to accept any pecuniary benefit in consideration of refraining from reporting to law enforcement authorities the commission or suspected commission of any offense or information relating to an offense. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this Section that the pecuniary benefit did not exceed an amount which the actor believed to be due as restitution or indemnification for harm caused by the offense.