When you have been charged with a DUI, many aspects come into play. Bring drunk or high usually is not a defense to criminal charges because you are held to a degree of accountability for your actions, especially when it involves driving. However, on occasion it has been seen that the courts will allow a defendant to present evidence of intoxication as a defense for their crime because it altered their mental state. This is especially so in cases where defendants get drunk by no fault of their own.
Intoxication can be viewed as “involuntary” when somebody forces you to drink alcohol or tricks you into consuming it. However, if the prosecution can show that you chose to consume the substance and it had a debilitating effect on you, you will probably not be able to use it in a defense. Instead, it would be viable as a defense when somebody slips alcohol into your drink as a prank or to take advantage of you. You should be prepared for your case to not succeed, because this is so for many of these circumstances.
How Your Mental Status Determines the Defense
Voluntary intoxication can sometimes prevent a defendant from forming intent, but in cases of involuntary intoxication, you had no intent and you may find yourself in a case where you have a complete defense. Did it prevent you from understanding what you were doing at the time of the crime? Did it cause you to be unable to differentiate between right and wrong? Did it make you incapable of complying with the law or leave you lacking the culpable state of mind required for conviction? Depending on the laws in your state, if you were incapable of these elements, you may be able to use the defense.
Cases of involuntary intoxication can be confusing and scary, as you never know if your defense will hold in court. This is why it is important to speak to a well-versed defense attorney about your case. Call us today for more information on how we can help.