The majority of  crimes in Minnesota require the prosecution to prove that you had a particular intent or state of mind at the time the crime was  committed.  Burglary, for example, requires the prosecution to prove that you entered a dwelling without the consent of the owner and with the intent to commit a crime.   When intent or a state of mind is a necessary element of a crime, the jury is allowed to take into consideration the fact that a person was intoxicated. A defendant in a criminal case has the burden of proving intoxication by a fair preponderance of the evidence. The intoxication defense is contained in Minnesota Statute Section 609.075.

The question of whether or not an intoxication defense negates the criminal intent or state of mind  is a question of fact that the jury must decide. An intoxication defense may be asserted in a case where a person has consumed excess amounts of alcohol or a controlled substance prior to the commission of the crime. Alcohol and prescription medication either alone or in combination could negate intent or state of mind. The jury can consider whether or not the person was capable of speech,  followed instructions, and  seemed to act with a particular purpose in mind. The prosecution will attempt to introduce  police testimony tending to show that a defendant was coherent and understood the nature of his actions even  though they were intoxicated. The defense will need to counter with proof of the amount of alcohol or controlled substance that was consumed and its effect.

If you have been charged with a crime and were under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances,  you may have an intoxication defense. Call criminal defense attorney Robert J. Shane at (612) 339-1024 for the Best Defense.