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Intoxication as a defense to criminal charges

As any of college student who lives around Bryan, Texas, and other people in this state can probably attest, people do stupid things when they are drunk that they would not do if they were sober. An example of this is the story which last week's blog post discussed, in which police arrested a young man who, allegedly while drunk, struck an officer's foot with his vehicle. He faces not only DUI charges but also assault charges.

Unfortunately, if someone gets drunk or drugged voluntarily, then under Texas law, he or she will be held fully responsible for any crimes to the same degree as would someone who did not have a drop to drink. This holds true even if a person did not intend to drink so much of if the alcohol, or drugs, affected him or her in an unexpected way.

The idea behind the law is that it would not be just to allow someone to avoid responsibility for their behavior, even if out of character, just because the person chose to get drunk or drugged. The law does allow one's drunken or drugged state to, in some situations, serve as evidence that might induce a judge to lessen the sentence the person would otherwise receive.

It should be noted, however, that involuntary intoxication, which would cover situations like when someone drinks a beverage that has been tampered with and other scenarios, remains a valid criminal defense in Texas.

The bottom line for people in the Bryan area to remember that being drunk is usually just not going to cut it when it comes to getting out of a criminal conviction, so people should not try using that excuse lightly. However, another type of criminal defense may be available in a wide range of cases, and these sorts of defense can be discussed with an experienced and knowledge criminal defense attorney who serves the Bryan area.

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