Affirmative defense

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An affirmative defense is a defense raised in a responsive pleading (answer) relating a new matter as a defense to the complaint in order to negate or reduce culpability even if all elements of the complaint are met. Affirmative defenses might include contributory negligence or estopped in civil actions; in criminal cases insanity, duress, or self-defense might be used. Typically, the burden of proof of an affirmative defense is on the person raising it.

See also