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Can I be convicted of another crime if drunk when committing it?

You already know that you can be convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances, but what if you committed another crime while drunk? That crime may be as small as petty vandalism or could involve destruction of Massachusetts public property. If you were too drunk to be aware of what you were doing, can you be convicted for the act?

You would think the answer would, by default, be yes. Yet surprisingly, there is a rather complex determination process. Part of judgment in criminal cases under Massachusetts law involves intent, and whether or not you were competent enough while intoxicated to actually have deliberate, conscious intent to commit the crime. If it can be proven that you were in fact too intoxicated to be aware of your actions, that may be used in your defense regarding any crimes you committed.

Most likely it will not be enough to prevent conviction if you are guilty, along with conviction for a DUI. But it can change the charges and reduce your sentencing, in some cases. It depends on the severity of the crime, and whether or not your intoxication was a factor in why the additional crime happened. For instance, if you commit vehicular homicide while under the influence, using evidence of your intoxication will not work in your favor to reduce the charges.

This has been an informational blog post that should not be used as actionable legal advice, and stands only as a reference and educational resource.

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