Criminal charges


Intoxication due to a defendant’s voluntary consumption of drugs or alcohol isn’t usually a defense to criminal charges—but if the intoxication was involuntary, it may be a defense on the basis that the defendant did not understand what he was doing or that what he was doing was wrong. And some states allow a defendant to assert a defense that his voluntary intoxication prevented him from forming the specific intent to commit the crime (attempted murder, for example). But this is a question of fact that the jury will usually determine.

The availability and definition of any defense to criminal charges based on the defendant’s voluntary or involuntary intoxication is usually located in a state’s statutes—often in the penal or criminal code.

State Statutes for the State of Texas

Federal Statutes