Can I Use Severe Intoxication as an Excuse?
If you committed a crime while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, it is likely that you were not thinking clearly at the time. You may have not even intended to commit the offense that you are now being charged for. However, just because you were drunk or have no memory of the event does not mean that you will be let off the hook. To learn more, contact a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney to find out the appropriate defense strategy to take.
Does Intent Matter?
A severely intoxicated person may not necessarily intend to commit a crime, such as theft from a store or assault. If it can be proven that the crime they committed did not involve specific intent, they may not be guilty of the crime, or the charges may be reduced. General intent only calls for the defendant to have carried out the action, such as getting into a bar fight with another person. Being intoxicated is not a get out of jail free card for assault because only general intent needs to be established. However, if the offense the defendant is being charged with is larceny, the defendant must have both knowingly committed the act and done so with intent to deprive the victim of their property to appropriate the property for the defendant’s own use, according to Florida statute 812.014. If it can be shown that the defendant accidentally took something from a store without paying for it, because of the intoxicated state they were in, the charges may be dropped.
When Specific Intent is Not Relevant to the Crime
A Florida man recently pled guilty to murder and sexual battery for crimes he committed in 2015, according to People Magazine. He had originally pled innocent, but took a plea deal so as to avoid the death penalty. The offense he is being charged for occurred when he and this then girl friend were having “rough sex” in their apartment’s closet. Both were incredibly intoxicated. Allegedly, she called out her ex-husband’s name. This sent the defendant into a “monster,” according to himself. He tore chunks out of her body and disemboweled her, pulling her intestines out before going to the bathroom to wash his hands and smoke a cigarette. He dialed 911 shortly afterwards. Police saw signs of a struggle upon their arrival, including punched holes in a wall and a shattered glass door, as well as copious amounts of blood and bloody tissue throughout the dwelling. In some cases, such as the one described above, specific intent does not change the charges. Intent to commit the actions alone is enough. The man was sent to prison for life, without probation or appealing the court decision.
Contact an Experienced West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you are being charged with any crime and you were intoxicated at the time, or otherwise inebriated, you have rights. Contact the West Palm Beach law offices of the Skier Law Firm today for immediate assistance.