PA § 503. Justification generally.

PA § 503. Justification generally.

State: Pennsylvania


Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (PCS)



Chapter 5.  General Principles of Justification

§ 503.  Justification generally.

(a)  General rule.–Conduct which the actor believes to be necessary to avoid a harm or evil to himself or to another is justifiable if:

(1)  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;

(2)  neither this title nor other law defining the offense provides exceptions or defenses dealing with the specific situation involved; and

(3)  a legislative purpose to exclude the justification claimed does not otherwise plainly appear.

(b)  Choice of evils.–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 culpability.


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