Voluntary Intoxication

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In order to be convicted of a crime in Oklahoma, the prosecution must prove all of that crime’s elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The criminal defense attorneys at Cannon & Associates are FIERCE ADVOCATES for every client and will hold the government to their burden in your case.

Sometimes, however, a person might have a defense to why they did, or why they could not have, committed a certain crime. Voluntary Intoxication in Oklahoma requires evidence to support intoxication of the defendant to the point he or she is unable to form the specific intent required to commit the underlying crime.  It is only available in specific intent crimes, to defend the required intent element. The defense of voluntary intoxication is primarily a mitigating, as opposed to an exculpating, defense.

Since the defendant was only in a temporary state of drunkenness, probably voluntarily induced, he is still subject to criminal liability for lesser included offenses contained within the crime charged. The defendant is still held accountable for these lesser included offenses which do not have a specific mens rea as an element. In effect, the defendant claims that drunkenness prevented formation of the necessary mens rea of the crime charged, but does not claim that his mental faculties have been destroyed.

Jury Instruction

The crime of underlying specific intent crime has as an element the specific criminal intent of specific statutory specific intent element. A person is entitled to the defense of intoxication if that person was incapable of forming the specific criminal intent of the specific statutory specific intent element because of his/her intoxication.

Oklahoma Jury Instruction #8-36.

It is the burden of the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant formed the specific criminal intent of specific statutory specific intent element. If you find that the State has failed to sustain that burden, by reason of the intoxication of the defendant, then the defendant must be found not guilty of underlying offense. You may find the defendant guilty of a Lesser Included Offense, if the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the crime of the Lesser Included Offense.

Oklahoma Jury Instruction #8-38.

Therefore, the jury instructions clearly state voluntary intoxication can only be a defense to specific intent crimes, not lesser included crimes that do not require the intent element.

Oklahoma Statute

The statute for the Voluntary Intoxication is OKLA. STAT. tit. 21 § 153, 704, which states that no act committed by a person while in a state of voluntary intoxication shall be deemed less criminal by reason of his having been in such condition. Homicide committed with a design to effect death is not the less murder because the perpetrator was in a state of anger or voluntary intoxication at the time.

What the Skilled Lawyers at Cannon & Associates Can Do For You

Being charged with a crime in Oklahoma is a serious matter. The Oklahoma criminal defense attorneys at Cannon & Associates are Fierce Advocates for Families and Freedom and will fight for you! At Cannon & Associates, we have extensive criminal defense experience, and will be with you every step of the way. We will take care to explain the issues and options to get you to your desired result and support you in this difficult time.

Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma Criminal Defense

Cannon & Associates is dedicated to Fierce Advocacy for Oklahoma criminal defendants and will fight for you. Founder John Cannon has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top 40 under 40. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights and fight your criminal case in Oklahoma. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.


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