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What if I Was Too Drunk to Know I Did Something Wrong?

Posted on August 19, 2019 in Uncategorized

Most people have been in that situation at one point or another. They’ve had too much to drink and black out, remembering nothing of the night that they had. Maybe there are some vague memories, or stories that they hear later from friends, but they do not know what specifically have done.

Involuntary Intoxication

What if you were heavily intoxicated when you committed a crime? Can you still be held criminally liable? Arizona recognizes two different kinds of “intoxication.” The first is “involuntary intoxication.” Involuntary intoxication occurs when a person becomes intoxicated solely as a result of drugs or alcohol administered to them against their will or without their knowledge. If you were involuntarily intoxicated, then a jury can consider your intoxication in determining whether you had the mental state required to commit a crime.

Voluntary Intoxication

The second form of intoxication recognized in Arizona is “voluntary intoxication.” Voluntary intoxication is caused by the knowing use of drugs or alcohol by a person which the person knows or should know tend to cause intoxication. This includes the voluntary use of alcohol or drugs, as all people should know they tend to cause intoxication, but there are two exceptions:

  • The substances were used pursuant to medical advice, or
  • The substances were used under duress that would constitute a defense to an offense

Given how difficult duress is to prove in Arizona, and how unlikely it is that you would find yourself under duress to consume intoxicating substances like drugs or alcohol, voluntary intoxication will almost never be a defense, except when you are taking drugs prescribed to you by a doctor.

If you find yourself being charged with a crime that you do not remember happening because of drinking or drugs, you need to protect yourself. Call the Phoenix criminal defense attorneys at AZ Defenders today for a free consultation at 480-456-6400 or reach out online and discuss your best options and defenses going forward.

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