I committed a crime while intoxicated, can I use it as a defence?
Intoxication as a defence is a dangerous game. Intoxication by nature implies that you are not in full control of your actions however, how far should that argument be taken. Unless you are intoxicated to the point of unconsciousness, you still have some control, the question just becomes how much?
The standard by which intoxication defences are measured is that of a reasonable person. Would a reasonable person under the same conditions, make the same choices? This then opens up the argument of whether the individuals actions can be considered a reasonable mistake or a reasonable response?
Intoxication as a defence will also consider whether you are subject to self induced intoxication or involuntary intoxication. Involuntary intoxication is of course a stronger argument by nature as it is a breach of personal autonomy if someone has spiked your drink.
In some circumstances, you may be able to use intoxication as a partial defence for your actions. All circumstances will be taken into account.
Do I need a lawyer?
If you have committed a crime, you will need to engage a criminal defence lawyer to assist you. Your legal team will be able to advise your chances of success with a defence of intoxication and can explain to you the relevant aspects of criminal law.
Your lawyer will also be able to obtain all evidence from police and prosecution regarding your matter so that they can assist with building your criminal defence.
The following defences may be available to you:
Intoxication (involuntary or self induced);
Sudden or extraordinary Emergency ;
Mistaken belief of fear or harm;
Reasonable belief of fear or harm;
It is challenging to defend a legal matter or criminal charge yourself and it is best to seek expert advice as soon as possible. If you feel you need legal advice immediately and you are unable to get in to see a lawyer straight away you can contact the national legal hotline for assistance.
The national legal hotline is a team of lawyers who provide immediate telephone advice. They are unable to provide in-depth, expansive advice on your matter but they can provide advice regarding your first court appearance, seeking an adjournment and generally appearing before the court.