Charge 2C:18-2a(1) Burglary in the third degree.

Arrested on July 5, 2009 in Lakewood, NJ. Charge 2C:18-2a(1) Burglary in the third degree.I had been drinking at a family birthday party. I was very intoxicated more than I thought. Drinking mixed hard liquor drink. Very irresponsibly on my part, as I take four medications for severe depression and can not mix with hard liquor, this causes me to have black outs. I have had similar black outs in the past. None involving a crime or felony.Hotel says they have surveillance of me breaking into the vehicle. I do not remember everything. One thing is for certain, I would never plan to do somethi

Asked on July 5, 2009 under Criminal Law, New Jersey

Answers:

Martin Matlaga / Martin D. Matlaga, Esq., LLC

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

  • 2C:18-2a(1) Burglary is a 3rd degree offense. The mental state required for this crime is
  • with purpose. This means that it must have been your conscious object to have broken into
  • the vehicle. Severe intoxication is a possible defense when this mental element is required
  • by a particular crime. (See 2C:2-8.) An expert may be required to testify as to the effect of
  • mixing alcohol with your medications. One thing further, in light of the fact that this was a
  • vehicle (?) Burglary, if you have no criminal record here or in any other state, you might want
  • to apply for Pretrial Intervention (PTI). The only thing they can do is say "No." Their decision
  • can then be appealed to the judge.  

Richard H. Insley / Ferrara, Turitz, Harraka & Goldberg

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The crime of Burglary requires specific intent to commit a crime.  This is an element which must be proven.  While voluntary intoxication is not normally a defense, it may be possible to show that you did not have the required intent as a result of the effect of your medications and the alcohol.  In the past, I have successfully used experts in cases of this type.

Richard Insley


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