Hi all. I would like to thank Ms Lisa Riley for all her help with my legal issues this past month. It was the most harrowing experience of my life and thanks to her expertise, professionalism and knowledge of the law, I came out almost unscathed. I have no hesitation in recommending Lisa Riley and Armstrong Legal if you need help. The service is amazing and the cost was very minimal for the great outcome. Thank you Lisa for helping me in the most difficult time.
I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My whole life I was thrown away, you made me feel like I did mean something. I could not have asked for a better lawyer. Your compassion and love for your job is inspiring. Your upfront and honesty were muchly appreciated, you are a beautiful person. Thank you for not giving up on me and thank you for all the work you put in. I wish you all the best for the future and I will be recommending you to everyone I know. You're amazing!!!!
I just wanted to thank you for representing me on Monday, I was overjoyed & relieved with the outcome. I don’t think it could have gone any better. All the best, I hope you got to celebrate this one instead after work, you forever made a difference in my life.
I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Is Intoxication a Defence?
An accused person’s intoxication may be relevant when assessing their criminal responsibility. However, it is not a defence. When considering a person’s intoxication it is important to understand the distinction between voluntary and involuntary intoxication. Intoxication may be relevant when assessing whether a person had a particular intention and how they perceived a set of facts.
What is intoxication?
In the 1945 New Zealand decision of R v Ormsby, Justice Fair directed the jury that a man is intoxicated if ‘as a result of his consumption of intoxicating liquor, his physical and mental faculties, or his judgment, are appreciably and materially impaired in the conduct of the ordinary affairs of his daily life.’ Intoxication can also be the result of taking illicit drugs or even prescription medication.
Intoxication can be voluntary (ie the accused freely chose to drink alcohol or take drugs).
Intoxication can also be involuntary (ie the accused was forced or tricked into drinking alcohol or taking drugs). This can occur when a person is threatened if they don’t consume alcohol or drugs, when they are dosed with a drug without their knowledge or when they are unexpectedly affected by side-effects of medication.
Section 428C of the New South Wales Crimes Act 1900 provides:
- Evidence that a person was intoxicated (whether by reason of self-induced intoxication or otherwise) at the time of the relevant conduct may be taken into account in determining whether the person had the intention to cause the specific result necessary for an offence of specific intent.
- However, such evidence cannot be taken into account if the person:
- had resolved before becoming intoxicated to do the relevant conduct, or
- became intoxicated in order to strengthen his or her resolve to do the relevant conduct.
When is intoxication relevant?
The intoxication of an accused can be relevant when dealing with offences of specific intent. These are offences that can only be proven if the court is satisfied that the accused intended to cause a particular result. Example of specific intent offences are:
- Stealing, where the accused must have intended to permanently deprive someone of their property;
- Intentionally causing serious injury, where the accused must have committed an assault that involved deliberately inflicting serious injury;
- Burglary, where the accused must have entered a building as a trespasser with the intent to commit a crime inside the building;
- Murder, where the accused must have intended to kill the victim.
When a person is tried for an offence of specific intent, they can be acquitted if the court is satisfied that they were so intoxicated that they could not have formed the requisite intent. When the defence has raised intoxication of the accused, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused had the requisite intent despite their intoxication.
Intoxication and the ‘reasonable person’ test
Where the defence relies on the accused’s intoxication to argue that they did not have the requisite intention to be found guilty of an offence, the court must compare the accused’s state of mind with the state of mind of a reasonable person. When the court does this, it must consider the state of mind of a reasonable sober person and not a reasonable drunk person.
Where the defence relies on evidence of the accused’s intoxication, expert evidence may need to be called. This is particularly the case where the intoxication was caused by a substance other than alcohol, which members of the jury may not have experience with. Expert witnesses may be called to give evidence of the effects of a substance – for example, whether the substance could impair a person’s ability to reason and form an intention.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
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