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Maryland Client Advocates Since 1950

Can drinking too much be part of your defense strategy?

Almost anyone who has worked in the medical field or in law enforcement can tell you that alcohol and criminal activity often go hand-in-hand. Alcohol does not necessarily cause people to act inappropriately, but it may lead to increased impulsivity and poor decision-making skills. Alcohol can also reduce social inhibition and increase the intensity of someone’s emotional responses.

All of that together is a perfect recipe for bad choices. Someone who has had too much to drink may get into a fight where they hurt someone else. They might threaten someone and make them feel so unsafe that they call the police.

Someone facing allegations of a violent offense, like assault, might realize that alcohol played a big part in the decisions that they made. Can someone defending against a criminal charge use intoxication as a defense in Maryland?

Some people try to claim that alcohol negates criminal intent

For someone to commit a crime, they need to actually engage in certain behaviors and also have the intent to break the law or behave a certain way. Someone under the influence of alcohol might not be in a position to enter into a legally binding contract because of their diminished capacity.

Historically, some people have tried to claim that alcohol intoxication prevents the state from establishing mens rea or the state of mind of a criminal. However, Maryland, like most other states, does not typically recognize voluntary intoxication as a defense against assault or similar offenses.

In cases involving involuntary intoxication, like someone consuming a drink spiked with a drug, there may be a defense available based on that involuntary intoxication. However, if you knowingly consumed too many beers, that won’t give you a strong basis for a criminal defense strategy.

Most defendants have multiple defense strategies available to them

There are numerous ways for someone to fight back against pending criminal charges, the approach that someone takes depends on their specific situation. The evidence that the state has against you will play a big role in how do you defend yourself.

You need to know about the evidence against you and the way the state typically prosecutes cases like yours to create a solid defense. Learning more about different criminal defense strategies can help you plan for your day in court.