If I unknowingly consumed alcohol, would that be a legal defense to get charges of public drunkenness and an MIP dismissed/dropped?

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If I unknowingly consumed alcohol, would that be a legal defense to get charges of public drunkenness and an MIP dismissed/dropped?

I went to a party with a friend, neither of us really knew most of the people. It was supposed to be an alcohol free party; however, without my knowing, someone had spiked the punch bowl. I could not taste or detect the alcohol inside. Throughout the night, inevitably I became intoxicated and somehow left the party. I was arrested. I am now being charged with being drunk in public and minor in possession of alcohol. I have a previous DUI and minor in possession of alcohol.

Asked on January 14, 2015 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can try to present such a defense but frankly it will be difficult to prove. Additionlly, this is your second time that you have been cited for such charges. The fact is that since you are no longer a first-time offender, the consquences of this latest incident will be more severe. Accordingly, you should consult with an attorney in the area of where this occurred who specializes in DUI and related cases. They can best advise you on the matter. Possibly an experienced criminal law attorney could get the charges thrown out on a tecnicality or at least use their contacts within the court system to your best advantage.


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