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Steve Williams of Forrest Williams

Steve Williams of Forrest Williams


Sexual Offence Defences: Intoxication


If you are charged with committing a sexual offence and admit this, but only acted that way because you were drunk, does that act as a defence?


This is a complex legal issue and it is vital that you seek expert legal representation.  This post discusses the issue in general terms but does not amount to legal advice for your specific case, which must be assessed on its own merits.


Generally, the decision to advance a defence case based on intoxication should be considered very carefully.  The fact that you were intoxicated can become an aggravating factor that supports the prosecution case.


Accepting intoxication can be also undermine your evidence and cause you to be seen as less able to accurately remember the incident, making it difficult for you to convincingly deny the allegation.


Generally, voluntary intoxication will only form a defence where it causes you to be incapable of intending the consequences of your actions, or where you have drank yourself temporarily insane, in which case the defence to sexual offences would be insanity, not intoxication.


If you are involuntarily intoxicated, due to spiked drinks for example, this is a defence.