Is intoxication a defense if you’re facing criminal charges?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Many people have experienced drinking heavily enough that they do not remember large portions of the night before when they wake up the following morning. They may have even blacked out while still awake, meaning they were not rationally thinking about their actions.

But can you use this as a defense? If you’re accused of breaking the law, can you say that you had no intent to do so because you were just too drunk to make better choices?

This defense is being used less often

This defense may be possible. It may be useful in cases where you have to prove intent, as intoxication could show that you had no intent, regardless of what you did. That said, studies have found that the intoxication defense is becoming less common, and some believe it’s eventually not going to be used. This is especially true for cases of voluntary intoxication. A person is often seen as being responsible for their actions, including the decision to get so intoxicated that they broke the law.

Cases of involuntary intoxication are a bit stronger. If someone else spiked your drink and you didn’t know it until you were drunk, you may be able to claim you never wanted to break the law and you never wanted to be intoxicated in the first place.

If you’re facing charges of any kind, it is important to consider all of your legal options. Everyone who is arrested deserves a fair trial, and that may mean raising a variety of defenses against the allegations. An experienced attorney can help.