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Is Intoxication a Defense to Sex Crimes?

Published: Mar 15, 2018 in Sex Crimes

Alcohol or drugs are often a factor in sex crime cases. No matter your age, you may make poor decisions while intoxicated. You may blame the amount of alcohol you drank or drugs you consumed for why you did something you regret. This may lead you, after being accused of committing a sexual offense, to wonder if you can use intoxication as a defense in court. Is it a defense to indecent exposure that you had taken ecstasy an hour before? Is being drunk a defense to rape? The answers to these questions is no. Voluntary intoxication is not a defense.

If you’re facing sex crime charges and are wondering what possible defenses in your case may be, contact a Houston sexual assault lawyer Ned Barnett right away.

Call The Law Offices of Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767 to schedule a free, initial case consultation with an experienced sex crimes attorney.

Voluntary Intoxication Is Not a Defense

The fact that intoxication is not a viable defense at trial is not simply a custom or court rule, it is state law. Under Texas Penal Code Section 8.04, voluntary intoxication does not constitute a defense to the commission of any crime. The law states intoxication means the disturbance of your mental or physical capacity as the result of introducing any substance into the body.

Voluntary intoxication means you knowingly and willingly introduced one or more substance into your body, even if you were not aware of exactly how the substance would affect you. It is voluntary intoxication if you:

  • Drink a large amount of alcohol
  • Accept unknown pills from a friend at a party
  • Take more prescription medication than you are supposed to

Involuntary Intoxication May Be a Defense

If you were impaired because of something someone else did to you, then you may be able to establish involuntary intoxication as an affirmative defense to a sex crime. Involuntary intoxication occurs when another person forces you to ingest drugs or alcohol, coerces you to do so, or introduces them into your body without your knowledge.

Examples of involuntary intoxication include:

  • Someone spiked your drink with a date rape drug without your knowledge
  • You took a prescription medication as prescribed by your physician without being warned about possible impairments
  • Someone held you down and forced you to swallow a drug
  • A group of individuals threatened to ruin your reputation or cause you problems if you did not drink alcohol

You may be able to establish a defense to a sex crime if you were involuntarily intoxicated and, at the time of the alleged offense, you were incapable of knowing your actions were wrong or in line with the law.

Let an Experienced Houston Sexual Assault Lawyer Help You

Have you been accused of a sex crime? Whether you are a 19 year old college student or a 55 year old professional, you need to work with an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney. Houston sexual assault lawyer Ned Barnett will listen to your side of the story and review every detail of your case. After a thorough analysis of the evidence, he will advise you on the strongest defense options.

To discuss defending yourself against a sex crime and how intoxication fits into your case, contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767 to schedule a free consultation.