The association between pharmacologic drug intoxication and forensic-specific intent.

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Journal of pharmacy practice, ISSN: 1531-1937, Vol: 25, Issue: 1, Page: 50-60

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Yoshizuka, Keith I; Perry, Paul J
SAGE Publications
article description
Two criminal cases are presented in which the counsel for the defendants requested an expert witness to opine whether their drug-intoxicated clients were capable of forming the specific intent necessary to commit the felonies for which they were charged. Intent from a legal standpoint is often times a poorly understood concept among expert witnesses. The application of a criminal defense of intoxication depends upon the nature of the crime the defendant is accused. The intoxication defense cannot be applied to general intent crimes. In cases where specific intent crimes are charged against the defendant, voluntary intoxication may be used to prove that the defendant could not possess the capacity to formulate the intent as a necessary element of the crime. Voluntary intoxication may be used as a defense in specific intent crimes to negate the critical element of intent required for the prosecution to prove in criminal cases. Without being able to prove intent, the prosecution has not met their burden of proving that every element of the crime has been met, thus resulting in an acquittal.