Is Being Drunk a Valid Criminal Defense?

man with empty shot glasses at a bar

At some point or another, many people report doing something they regret while under the influence. However, some drunken mistakes could actually result in criminal charges. If this is the case, can the fact that you were drunk be a valid defense?

The Correlation of Alcohol and Crime

Alcohol is a contributing factor to many types of offenses such as:

  • DWI
  • Assault
  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Domestic Violence
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Disorderly Conduct

In fact, nearly 40% of people currently incarcerated for violent offenses report that they were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crime.

Intoxication as a Defense

In general, voluntary intoxication will not hold up as a defense for committing a crime. It’s also important to note that any statements you make to the police while intoxicated are fair to bring up later in the case as evidence. Therefore, if you know you tend to get a bit rowdy after drinking, ensure you stay out of legal trouble! Being drunk will not be an effective defense.

If, however, you were involuntarily intoxicated at the time of the crime, this could be a solid defense. Involuntary intoxication means you were given alcohol or drugs against your will or without your knowledge. For example, you were given a drug without your knowledge, lost some degree of bodily control, and ended up involved in a criminal offense as a result.

Involuntary intoxication defenses are incredibly difficult to prove, but working with a defense attorney will give you the best chance of successfully proving you were involuntarily intoxicated at the time of the alleged criminal offense.

New York City Criminal Defense Attorneys

Our team at Kenneth E. Belkin, Esq. is ready to help you with your criminal law matters. If you or your loved one has recently been charged with a crime, contact us today. We craft unique defense strategies to fit the needs of our clients’ cases and have helped numerous individuals obtain not guilty verdicts. To get started, call us at (718) 395-6755.