Is Intoxication A Legal Defense To A Crime In Florida?
When people are intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, they do not always make the best decisions. Sometimes, people may even act in certain ways that result in criminal charges. Intoxication can greatly affect a person’s memory as well and so once they are no longer under the influence, they do not know why they are being charged. The impact on a person’s memory often has them wondering if intoxication can be used as a defense against criminal charges in Florida. As with so many legal issues, the answer is that it depends on the facts of a specific case. Below, our Tampa criminal defense attorney explains more.
The Law on Voluntary Intoxication in Florida
Voluntary intoxication occurs when a person knowingly and willingly consumes alcohol or drugs. At one time, voluntary intoxication was a valid defense in Florida, but that is no longer the case. In 1999, legislators in Florida changed the law so a person cannot use voluntary intoxication as a defense. When someone willingly becomes intoxicated and commits a criminal act, they can be held responsible for it and may face harsh penalties.
It is important to note, though, that being charged with a crime does not mean you will necessarily be convicted of it. Even if you do not remember what happened, a Tampa criminal defense attorney can still review the facts of your case and develop a strong strategy to help you beat the charges.
The Law on Involuntary Intoxication in Florida
Although voluntary intoxication cannot be used as a defense against criminal charges, the same is not true for involuntary intoxication. Involuntary intoxication occurs when a person does not willingly consume alcohol or drugs but they become intoxicated anyway. If the person then commits a crime, they can then use involuntary intoxication as a defense.
The most common example of involuntary intoxication is when one person slips a drug into another person’s drink without their knowledge. A person may think they are drinking something that does not contain illicit substances and become intoxicated as a result. Another example of involuntary intoxication is when a doctor prescribes a medication to someone. If the dosage is incorrect, or the doctor does not warn the person that the drugs could cause intoxication, the medication may cause someone to become involuntarily intoxicated.
Even though involuntary intoxication can be used as a criminal defense, it is still important to speak to an attorney after being charged with an offense. A lawyer will know how to prove involuntary intoxication and use other defenses that can help you beat your charges.
Call Our Criminal Defense Attorneys in Tampa Today
If you were criminally charged after being intoxicated, our Tampa criminal defense attorneys at All Family Law Group, P.A. can assist with your case and build the strong defense you need. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys and to learn more about how we can help.