(a) Duress is a defense to prosecution where the person or a third person is threatened with harm that is present, imminent, impending and of such a nature to induce a well-grounded apprehension of death or serious bodily injury if the act is not done. The threatened harm must be continuous throughout the time the act is being committed, and must be one from which the person cannot withdraw in safety. Further, the desirability and urgency of avoiding the harm must clearly outweigh the harm sought to be prevented by the law proscribing the conduct, according to ordinary standards of reasonableness.
Terms Used In Tennessee Code 39-11-504
- Bodily injury: includes a cut, abrasion, bruise, burn or disfigurement, and physical pain or temporary illness or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty. See Tennessee Code 39-11-106
- Harm: means anything reasonably regarded as loss, disadvantage or injury, including harm to another person in whose welfare the person affected is interested. See Tennessee Code 39-11-106
- Person: includes the singular and the plural and means and includes any individual, firm, partnership, copartnership, association, corporation, governmental subdivision or agency, or other organization or other legal entity, or any agent or servant thereof. See Tennessee Code 39-11-106
(b) This defense is unavailable to a person who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly becomes involved in a situation in which it was probable that the person would be subjected to compulsion.