What is a person’s criminal liability for something thy did while drunk?

About 5 months ago, I was doing some yard work at a friend’s house; throughout the day I had been drinking. The last thing I remember was weed whacking the fence line. I blacked out and woke up the next morning in jail for assault on a public servant and felony retaliation. I don’t remember any of it. I already have a criminal history. Is there anything I can do to avoid prison? I can’t swallow the fact that I could do up to 20 years for something I had no idea I was even doing.

Asked on October 14, 2013 under Criminal Law, Texas


Brook Miscoski / Hurr Law Office PC

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

In Texas, voluntary intoxication is not a defense to the commission of a crime. Instead, "temporary insanity" (the loss of the ability to tell that your conduct is wrong) may be a mitigating factor when it is caused by voluntary intoxication. Please note that for some offenses, the truth is that voluntary intoxication is actually treated as a factor that excuses the prosecution from proving intent, so it can also work against you.

In english, this means that you can be found guilty of assault and retaliation even if you were drunk and do not remember your actions. Depending on the circumstances of your alleged offenses, a good attorney might be able to argue that any punishment should be decreased because you had diminished responsibility for your actions, or find other solutions to reduce any potential penalty.

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