Last week Todd Peterson of Peterson Legal had a three day trial at Matheson Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. The state had charged the defendant with 11 different counts but the most severe was a first degree felony, Aggravated Burglary. If convicted the client could have faced a life sentence for this charge. Todd worked with Attorney Josh Baron of Sharifi and Baron, on this case. Josh argued to the jury that the defendant was voluntarily intoxicated to an extent that made him incapable of forming the necessary intent for an Aggravated Burglary. After deliberating the jury agreed and found the defendant not guilty.
Voluntary Intoxication and Aggravated Burglary
The Utah legislature has recognized voluntary intoxication as a valid legal defense. In practice the defense negates the intent portion of a criminal statute. For example, in the case of Aggravated Burglary, the prosecutor must prove that an individual entered a building unlawfully with an intent to commit an assault or felony. So the voluntary intoxication defense speaks to whether or not the individual is capable of forming that intent or not. If the defendant was incapable of forming the necessary intent, then the jury should find the defendant not guilty. This defense also applies to other mental state requirements for other crimes. For example some crimes require that a defendant act "knowingly".
Good Criminal Defense in Salt Lake City
If you are facing serious charges like an Aggravated Burglary then its very important you get a good Criminal Defense Attorney. Without proper legal representation you could end up facing much harsher penalties than necessary. Defenses such as voluntary intoxication are vital to a lot of criminal cases. So make sure your attorney is well versed in the law and knows how to get you the best result. Call Peterson Legal today for a free consultation!