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Criminal 7 Intoxication
Terms in this set (19)
Can voluntary intoxication be used as a defence?
No, at most it is a reason why the prosecution cannot prove the defendant formed mens rea and this can only apply when D is charged with a specific intent crime.
In what case was this law summarised?
Staged analysis question, defence of intoxication when basic intent offence is being charged.
say "xx is claiming that he was intoxicated by use of xxx and that it was this that caused him to act out of character in assaulting xxx and damaging xxx. The criminal law does not recognise intoxication as a specific defence but it may negate the mens rea for an offence requiring specific intent if it can be shown that the intoxication meant that xx did not have the required mens rea for the offence. Unfortunately for xxx the offences which it is anticipated the prosecution may charge are offences of basic not specific intent so it will not be open to him to raise his xxx use either as a defence or to negate having the necessary mens rea for the offence (Majewski).
Moreover it appears that xxx accepts that he did have the necessary mens rea as we are told that "it was the xxx that made him lose his inhibitions and that he was acting out of character" The case of R v Kingston shows that mens rea caused by intoxication will not allow an accused to rely on this 'defence'"
What would the effect be if D had been charged with a basic intent crime and would have formed the mens rea if he had been sober?
The prosecution has no need to prove he formed it when intoxicated.
Where D is voluntarily intoxicated and does not form the mens rea of a specific intent crime what happens then?
He cannot be convicted of the specific intent crime, but if there is a basic intent alternative offence, he will be convicted of the lesser crime. So if D is charged with murder but didn't form MR for murder, he will be convicted of manslaughter.
What substance is referred to when using the legal definition of intoxication?
refers to alcohol or another dangerous drug that can create a state of unpredictability or aggression.
What is involuntarily intoxication? What is the leading case?
When D does not know he is intoxicated eg having a spiked drink. Leading case is Kingston
What are the ONLY three occasions which may cause involuntary intoxication?
1. Spiked drink
2. Taking medication with an adverse effect
3. The non-reckless taking of non-dangerous drugs (Hardie)
If D, being involuntarily intoxicated, forms the MR for a crime, what is the situation?
He is guilty if he forms the MR of a crime, any lack of moral fault on his part is irrelevant.
Is there a distinction between basic intent crimes and specific intent crimes with involuntary intoxication?
No, there is no distinction.
If D knows he is drinking or taking drugs but is mistaken as to the strength or effect of what he is taking, is is voluntarily or involuntarily intoxicated?
Voluntary intoxication, D does not form the MR of a specific intent crime. Is D guilty or not guilty? D kills V while voluntarily intoxicated, he has no memory of doing so and no intention to do so.
Not guilty of murder, guilty of manslaughter (Lipman)
What if there is no basic intent alternative and D lacks MR for the specific intent defence? EG theft?
Then the conviction fails, D is not guilty as there is no 'reckless' or basic intent form of theft.
BUT if D takes drugs or drinks in order to commit a specific intent crime (The Dutch Courage defence) what then
As a matter of policy the defence fails and D is convicted.
Voluntary intoxication, D commits a basic intent crime, what then
He is guilty, no evidence of MR is necessary. Voluntary intoxication is no defence to basic intent crimes (Majewski)
However the case was modified slightly by which case, and why?
By Richardson and Irwin, the jury may have to decide if he would have formed the MR if he had been sober (ie would have been equally reckless when sober)
Non-dangerous drugs, which is the leading case and what did it show?
Case of Hardie, D was guilty of criminal damage after taking Valium prescribed for someone else if he knew the effect it might have on him.
Structure for intoxication question
1. Does D lack MR due to intoxication?
If "no" D is guilty of the offence. If yes ...
2. Is he involuntarily or voluntarily intoxicated?
If involuntarily, then not guilty. If voluntarily...
3. Is it a basic intent crime or a specific intent crime?
If basic intent crime (eg rape) then intoxication is no defence and he is guilty. If a specific intent crime, eg murder, then intoxication can be a defence (it can take away MR - Majewski) in which case D may be convicted of a lesser basic intent alternative.
Reasonable use of force for purposes of self defence are covered by what?
1. Common law self, defence of property and others.
2. S3 CLA 1967 - honest and genuine belief R v Williams (Gladstone)
3. S76 CJ&I Act 2008. Use of reasonable force. Honest and genuine belief, for (only) INvoluntary intoxication means defence can be relied upon, even for mistaken, unreasonable, belief and lashing out. Householder's use of force is less likely to be regarded as grossly 'disproportionate'
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