Duress


Duress

The act of using force, false imprisonment, coercion, threats or psychological pressure to compel someone to act contrary to his or her wishes or interests. Duress is also used as a form of defense to a crime by a defendant who is compelled or coerced to commit the crime because they are under serious imminent harm to themselves or others.

For example, if Bob makes unlawful threats or engages in a coercive behavior that causes his Aunt Sally to sign an agreement or execute a will against her will, then Bob is causing Aunt Sally to be "under duress."

If duress is used to make a person commit a crime or do something against their will, the defendant in a criminal prosecution may raise the defense that others used duress to force him or her to take part in the crime.

Duress occurs when a person is prevented from acting (or not acting) according to free will. Forms of duress could fall under threatened physical harm or economic duress.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • duress — du·ress /du̇ res, dyu̇ / n [Anglo French duresce, literally, hardness, harshness, from Old French, from Latin duritia, from durus hard]: wrongful and usu. unlawful compulsion (as threats of physical violence) that induces a person to act against… …   Law dictionary

  • duress — du‧ress [djʊˈres ǁ dʊ ] noun [uncountable] LAW the illegal or unfair use of force or threats to make someone do something: • He claimed that he had signed the contract under duress. * * * duress UK US /djʊˈres/ noun [U] LAW ► threats used to… …   Financial and business terms

  • Duress — Du*ress , v. t. To subject to duress. The party duressed. Bacon. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Duress — Du ress, n. [OF. duresse, du?, hardship, severity, L. duritia, durities, fr. durus hard. See {Dure}.] 1. Hardship; constraint; pressure; imprisonment; restraint of liberty. [1913 Webster] The agreements . . . made with the landlords during the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • duress — ► NOUN ▪ threats or violence used to coerce a person into doing something: confessions extracted under duress. ORIGIN originally in the sense harshness, cruel treatment : from Latin durus hard …   English terms dictionary

  • duress — [doo res′, dyoores′] n. [ME dures < OFr durece < L duritia, hardness, harshness < durus, hard < IE base * deru , tree, oak (orig. ? hard) > TREE] 1. imprisonment 2. the use of force or threats; compulsion [a confession signed under …   English World dictionary

  • duress — early 14c., harsh or severe treatment, from O.Fr. duresse, from L. duritia hardness, from durus hard (see ENDURE (Cf. endure)). Sense of coercion, compulsion is from 1590s …   Etymology dictionary

  • duress — constraint, coercion, compulsion, violence, *force, restraint …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • duress — [n] threat, hardship bondage, captivity, coercion, compulsion, confinement, constraint, control, detention, discipline, force, imprisonment, incarceration, pressure, restraint, violence; concepts 14,674 …   New thesaurus

  • Duress — For English law on the criminal defences, see duress in English law. For the American film, see Duress (film) …   Wikipedia

  • duress — Any unlawful threat or coercion used by a person to induce another to act (or to refrain from acting) in a manner he or she otherwise would not (or would). Subjecting person to improper pressure which overcomes his will and coerces him to comply… …   Black's law dictionary


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