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Intoxication is a state of mind

Intoxication is a state of mind characterized by euphoria or excitement that renders a person irrational. The intoxication must be brought about by alcohol or any number of mind and mood altering drugs or a combination of both.

When a person is intoxicated, he is influenced by the substances he imbibed that his ability to reason is impaired. He cannot thus be held criminally responsible for his actions. This defence of intoxication is available only in crimes that involve a specific criminal intent such as murder, robbery, theft or assault.

When invoking this defence, the accused must prove that his intoxication was not self-induced—that is, that he did not imbibe the intoxicating substances for the purpose of emboldening him in a previously determined criminal intent.

He may also prove that his intoxication was a result of fraud (someone had given him a wrong dosage of medication or the wrong sort of medication or that the intoxication was a side effect of medication he has been prescribed) or the result of an honest mistake.

The accused must also prove that he had no criminal intent to commit the crime he is accused of prior to his intoxication.

The accused must also prove that had he not been intoxicated, his actions would have been different. He must prove that the intoxicant was what caused an alteration to his personality or mood or state of mind and not any other cause. In regard to this, medical or scientific proof as to the effects of a certain drug must be presented.

In the case where the accused imbibed metamphetamine hydrochloride (crack cocaine), one of the scientifically documented effects in mood is that of paranoia and aggression. Thus, a person intoxicated with metamphetamine hydrocholoride would be likely to exhibit aggression and paranoia leading to acts constituting assault, grave bodily injury, homicide or murder.

This defence negates the formation of a criminal intent as the accused is under the overpowering influence of the intoxicant. In criminal offenses where the elements comprise overt physical acts coupled with specific criminal intent, when criminal intent is not proved or is negated by this defence of intoxication, there can be no criminal conviction. 

If you are charged with sexual offences and you have a previous proven offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance. This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone.

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Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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