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However, he was denied the defense due to the lack of case law allowing a necessity defense for a dui.

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Alicia:
In U.S. v. Hoagland, the defendant was homeless and sleeping out of his car. One night, as he was sleeping in the truck, a security guard asked him to move the car out of the parking lot he was staying in. While doing so, he backed into a parked vehicle, and police were called to the scene. Police officers administered a field sobriety test which the defendant failed and was subsequently charged with a DUI. During his trial, he claimed he was obligated to move the vehicle in order to comply with the demands of the security officer. He feared his truck and belongings would be impounded, and he could not pay the fees. However, he was denied the defense due to the lack of case law allowing a necessity defense for a DUI. He later appealed the decision to deny the defense. The courts ruled that the defense of necessity is not allowed because a DUI is a “strict liability” charge. Furthermore, the district appeals court affirmed the lower court’s decision because he failed to meet the elements of the defense of necessity because the member contributed to the situation by parking in an illegal spot.
I agree with the court’s ruling in that the member did not meet the elements of necessity and therefore should be denied the defense. Necessity is considered “lesser of two evil” (U.S. v. Bailey, 1980). Hoagland was in a difficult situation, and his concern of losing his few personal belongings in understandable. One can argue that moving the truck is the lesser of two evils, However, it is a lesser evil for him and his convivence not society as a whole. Secondly, the defendant did fail to meet the elements of the defense. One of the elements is that Hoagland must have not caused the situation upon himself (Illinois v. Kucavik, 2006). Unfortunately for Hoagland, he did put himself in the situation to begin with by parking in an illegal parking spot. Although I agree with the ruling, I believe the court could have allowed him to offer the defense as a mitigating factor during sentencing. Brandon:
I agree with the court’s ruling that Hoagland could not use a necessity defense. To begin, a necessity defense is when an individual commits a criminal act during an emergency situation in order to prevent a greater harm from happening (Justia, 2022). In this case, Hoagland was parked in a private parking lot and was told to move by a security guard with a threat of being towed. Hoagland, in fear of his personal property being taken from him, backed his car up drunk and hit another car (Hardesty, 2010). In this case, I could see why he would have been scared to have his vehicle taken from him. However, I believe Hoagland could have explained his situation to the security guard with the hopes they could work together to come to another outcome without Hoagland driving drunk. I also did more research and on Hoagland’s appeal the court concluded that he created the situation of parking his vehicle in a privately owned lot and made the decision to ultimately operate his vehicle drunk (Still, 2010). On the other side of the coin, Hoagland did raise some concerns in Nevada that his due process right was infringed upon not being able to use the necessity defense. I believe that he could have had a valid argument if the situation was different. For example, the security guard was trying to kill him. I could see the necessity defense working in this scenario. In conclusion, I agree that Hoagland was held responsible for the DUI because he created the situation of parking in the lot and being above the legal limit operating a vehicle, regardless of his living situation. He should have parked his vehicle in a camp ground or somewhere were he knew he could be parked until he sobered up.
Cara:
I agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling that the district court did not make any errors in the Hoagland case. Necessity is a common law defense, which justifies criminal acts taken to prevent greater harm, maximizing social welfare by allowing a crime to be committed where the social benefits of the crime outweigh the social costs of failing to commit the crime (Hoagland v. State, 240 P. 3d 1043 – Nev: Supreme Court 2010 – Google Scholar, 2022). I agree with the courts assessment that the defense must provide sufficient evidence supporting the elements of that defense, which Hoagland didn’t. It was stated in Bailey, 444 U.S. at 416, 100 S. Ct. 624, if the defendant doesn’t provide legally sufficient evidence, the court is not required to offer the jury instructions on elements in the case (Hoagland v. State, 240 P. 3d 1043 – Nev: Supreme Court 2010 – Google Scholar, 2022). Also, it needs to be considered that Hoagland put himself in a situation that caused the situation to occur. Because Hoagland parked his truck in a prohibited spot in the parking lot made him contributory in this case, the district court was not required to include a jury instruction on the necessity defense.

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