Is intoxication a defense to an alleged burglary?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is intoxication a defense to an alleged burglary?

My husband went out-of-state for a funeral got drunk. He was knocking on the wrong door thinking it was his sister’s hous. Hegot into a confrontation with the people who lived there. The police came, took him to jail, and charged him with burglary. However, he was not trying to still anything.

Asked on October 20, 2010 under Criminal Law, Maryland

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your husband may be able to assert the defense of voluntary intoxication.  Burglary is the breaking and entering of the dwelling of another with the intent to commit a felony.  Burglary requires the physical act of breaking and entering and the specific intent to commit a felony.  If your husband opened the door and entered the house, that would satisfy the elements of breaking and entering.  However, since he was intoxicated, he would not have been able to have had the requisite mental state for specific intent to commit a felony.  In order to be found guilty of burglary, the prosecutor would have to prove both the physical act of breaking and entering and the requisite mental state of the specific intent to commit a felony.  Since your husband was intoxicated, it could be argued that he did not have the requisite mental state of having the specific intent to commit a felony, which would be his defense to the charge of burglary.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption