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In civil proceedings and criminal prosecutions under the common law, a defendant may raise a defense in an attempt to avoid criminal or civil liability. Besides contesting the accuracy of any allegation made against him or her in a criminal or civil proceeding, a defendant may also make allegations against the prosecutor or plaintiff or raise a defense, arguing that, even if the allegations against the defendant are true, the defendant is nevertheless not liable.

Legal psychologists may be involved in assessing or advising clients as to the appropriateness of some defenses.

Legal defenses

Legal defenses of interest to psychologists are:


In addition to defenses against prosecution and liability, a defendant may also raise a defense of justification - such as self defense and defense of others or defense of property.

See also

  • Absolute defense (legal)