Intoxication: Does this provide a defense to a crime under New Jersey law?

Intoxication, N.J.S.A. 2c:2-8, New Jersey, Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, Warren County, criminal defense, drunk driving, traffic ticket, juvenile, attorney, lawyerRIVERSIDE TWP.—Local cops charged an allegedly drunk train passenger with aggravated assault on a police office. The NJ Transit River Line passenger had allegedly consumed alcohol and cursed at passengers, per the news. Police claim the man had multiple open containers of beer when they approached him. Additionally, while escorting him off the train, the man allegedly assaulted one cop. Furthermore, they claim the senior citizen spit in the face of another. Eventually, the cops took the passenger to a hospital for his extreme level of intoxication. Consequently, the cops charged the passenger with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and open container of alcohol in public.

Intoxication, N.J.S.A. 2c:2-8

Under New Jersey law, a defendant can raise an intoxication defense under limited circumstances. It is not a defense unless it negates an element of the offense. Additionally, when recklessness establishes an element of the offense, if the actor, due to self-induced intoxication, is unaware of a risk of which he would have been aware had he been sober, such unawareness is immaterial. But this also means involuntary intox can negate an offense defined with a material element of recklessness. Additionally, the State can use evidence of voluntary intox to prove the element of recklessness in a crime. This is because making oneself unaware of a risk through voluntary intoxication is reckless. But involuntary intoxication makes one a victim. Furthermore, whether voluntary or involuntary, this condition does not, in itself, constitute mental disease.

Nevertheless, intoxication which (1) is not self-induced or (2) is pathological is an affirmative defense if the actor at the time of his conduct did not know the nature and quality of the act he was doing, or if he did know it, that he did not know what he was doing was wrong. This defense must be proved by clear and convincing evidence.

Intoxication Definitions

Unless a different meaning plainly applies:

Intoxication means a disturbance of mental or physical capacities resulting from the introduction of substances into the body.

Self-induced intoxication means intoxication caused by substances which the actor knowingly introduces into his body, the tendency of which to cause intoxication he knows or ought to know, unless he introduces them pursuant to medical advice or under such circumstances as would afford a defense to a charge of crime.

Pathological intoxication means intoxication grossly excessive in degree, given the amount of the intoxicant, to which the actor does not know he is susceptible.

Gloucester County Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding the voluntary and involuntary intox. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.