Can intoxication be used as a defence?
Intoxication is not a defence to a crime as such, but where a person is intoxicated through drink or drugs and commits a crime, the level of intoxication may be such as to prevent the defendant forming the necessary mens rea of the crime.
Intoxication does not provide a defence in itself. It is relevant in determining whether defendant has the required mens rea. If he lacks sufficient mens rea due to his intoxicated state then he may be found not guilty.
It would appear to follow that intoxication could be described as a partial defence to a crime of specific intent, in that it reduces it to a crime of basic intent.
If a charged crime is a specific intent crime, meaning that the criminal defendant must have had the specific intent to commit the crime in question, involuntary intoxication can be a defense to criminal charges if it prevents the defendant from forming the intent that is required.
Voluntary intoxication cannot be used as a defense to general intent crimes. It can, however, be used as a defense to a specific intent crime. For example, burglary generally requires breaking and entering into a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime therein.
The Model Penal Code, which defines criminal mental states in terms of purpose, knowledge, recklessness or negligence, allows a defendant to use voluntary intoxication as a defense to crimes requiring proof of a state of mind of either purpose or knowledge.
noun. in·tox·i·ca·tion in-ˌtäk-sə-ˈkā-shən. : the condition of having physical or mental control markedly diminished by the effects of alcohol or drugs. drank to the point of intoxication. cocaine intoxication.
Where a crime requires a certain mental state (mens rea) to break the law, those under the influence of an intoxicating substance may be considered to have reduced liability for their actions. With regard to punishment, intoxication may be a mitigating factor that decreases a prison or jail sentence.
intoxication. n. 1) the condition of being drunk as the result of drinking alcoholic beverages and/or use of narcotics. In the eyes of the law this definition may differ depending on the situation to which it is applied. 2) as it applies to drunk driving (DUI, DWI) the standard of intoxication varies by state between .
Under California criminal law, involuntary intoxication is a complete defense to a crime. This means that an accused cannot be found guilty of any crime that he/she committed while involuntarily intoxicated.
What is the reason for intoxication?
Alcohol intoxication occurs from drinking too much alcohol in a short period of time. Some people are more at risk of alcohol intoxication than others. Factors affecting your risk of alcohol intoxication include: Your body type and weight.
Intoxication (or drunkenness) (on drugs) is never by itself an excuse or justification for a crime, if you find that one was committed. However, it may be relevant to your deliberations on the issue of whether the defendant had the criminal intent that is required for conviction of this offense.
3 Voluntary intoxication may present as a legal defence if:
a the offence requires the presence of a specific intent. b the offence requires the presence of a basic intent. c the defendant is reckless at the time of the offence.
8.4-A Evidence of intoxication, whether or not self induced, can be considered when knowledge or belief is relevant to a defence. Most defences to criminal liability are based on the defendant's belief that the conduct constituting the offence was necessary, justified or permissible.
"The intoxication of the offender shall be taken into consideration as a mitigating circumstance when the offender has committed a felony in a state of intoxication, if the same is not habitual or subsequent to the plan to commit said felony; but when the intoxication is habitual or intentional it shall be considered ...
Voluntary intoxication is when the accused person willingly uses intoxicating drugs or alcohol. For that reason, for criminal charges where the prosecution must prove specific intent to commit the crime, intoxication may be a valid defense.
For example, acute ingestion of ethanol may result in intoxication, which can cause death directly from its acute depressant effects and also through intoxication-related accidents and violence.
- Alcohol intoxication.
- Caffeine intoxication.
- Cannabis intoxication.
- Heroin intoxication.
- Water intoxication.
- Involuntary intoxication is the unknowing ingestion of some intoxicating liquor, drug, or other substance, caused by force or fraud. ...
- Voluntary intoxication is the willing ingestion or injection of any drink, drug, or other intoxicating substance that the defendant knows can produce an intoxicating effect.
In many cases, courts will render a contract with a person who is mentally ill or intoxicated as voidable, meaning the contract may be voided by the incapacitated party.
What is the punishment for intoxication?
As noted previously, Public Intoxication is a Misdemeanor under California law. If convicted, you face up to six (6) months in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars) or a fine and imprisonment.
Excuses: Insanity and Diminished Capacity
Excuse defenses are used when the actor's mental state or belief demonstrate that he should not be held responsible for the criminal act. Excuse defenses include insanity, diminished capacity, duress, mistake, infancy and entrapment.
Courts consistently articulate a 'general rule' that intoxication per se does not operate as a mitigating factor.
Section 85 protects a person from criminal liability, if, at the time of committing of offense, he was because of intoxication, incapable of knowing the nature of the act, or he is doing something wrong or against the law under the influence of intoxication, provided that such intoxication was administered to him ...
Drug and alcohol intoxication are both considered as a single aggravating factor in sentencing. For example, in the expanded explanations, reference to 'being under the influence of alcohol or drugs' suggests both alcohol and drugs are prescribed to aggravate similarly in sentencing (Sentencing Council 2019).
For instance, a person who is voluntarily intoxicated cannot claim automatism as a defence, because they had control over becoming intoxicated, which led to their criminal action. However, someone who was involuntarily intoxicated, that is not by choice, did not create the situation which led to the criminal act.