29 Sep 23

How Involuntary Intoxication Can Negate Drug Charges in Chicago

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Last Updated on: 1st October 2023, 10:08 am

How Involuntary Intoxication Can Negate Drug Charges in Chicago

Getting involuntarily intoxicated in Chicago can be a valid legal defense against drug charges, but it’s complicated. I want to explain when it applies, how it works, and what kinds of evidence you need.

First off, involuntary intoxication is when you get drunk or high through no fault of your own – maybe someone slipped something in your drink without you knowing. If this happens, you aren’t responsible for what you do while intoxicated, since you didn’t choose to get that way.

In Illinois, involuntary intoxication can be a defense against drug charges, but only if you can prove a few things:

  • You were involuntarily intoxicated – it wasn’t your choice to take the drugs
  • You had no reason to know you might get intoxicated – it was unexpected
  • Your intoxication made you unable to appreciate what you were doing

That last part is key – you have to show the intoxication made you unable to control your behavior. Just being really drunk or high isn’t enough.

Proving Involuntary Intoxication

To use this defense in Chicago, you’ll need evidence showing how you got intoxicated without meaning to. For example:

  • Someone spiked your drink at a party
  • You were given drugs without your knowledge
  • You had an unexpected reaction to prescription medication

You’ll also need proof that you couldn’t appreciate the consequences of your actions. Testimony from eyewitnesses about your behavior can help. Toxicology reports showing your blood alcohol level or presence of drugs are also useful.

If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, it becomes harder to claim involuntary intoxication. The prosecution will argue you should have known intoxication was a risk.

When Involuntary Intoxication Applies

This defense only applies to specific intent crimes – where the prosecution must prove you intended to break the law. For example, involuntary intoxication could negate:

  • Possession charges – if you unknowingly had drugs
  • Distribution charges – if someone tricked you into delivering drugs
  • DUI charges – if a prescribed medication unexpectedly impaired your driving

But it wouldn’t apply to general intent crimes like reckless endangerment or disorderly conduct. Even if you were involuntarily intoxicated, you could still be liable for acting recklessly or dangerously.

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The Bottom Line

Involuntary intoxication is a valid defense in Illinois, but it isn’t easy to prove. You need strong evidence that you were intoxicated through no fault of your own, and that you couldn’t control your actions as a result. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help evaluate your case and build the best defense.

The key is acting quickly to gather evidence, before it disappears. Witness memories fade, surveillance tapes get deleted, and drugs leave the bloodstream. Don’t wait to explore this defense – time is of the essence.

Every case is different. But if you were unknowingly drugged and acted without realizing it, involuntary intoxication may help you fight the charges. There are legal options, so don’t lose hope.

Other Defenses to Drug Charges

Involuntary intoxication isn’t the only way to fight drug charges in Chicago. Some other options include:

  • Illegal search – If the police didn’t have probable cause or a warrant, evidence may be excluded.
  • Entrapment – Undercover cops can’t coerce you into committing a crime you wouldn’t do otherwise.
  • Misidentification – If the drugs weren’t actually yours, you aren’t responsible.
  • Medical marijuana – Illinois law allows marijuana use with a medical card in certain cases.

An experienced lawyer can advise if any of these defenses apply to your specific case. Don’t take a plea deal without exploring your options first.

Finding a Lawyer

Drug charges carry steep penalties in Illinois, so legal representation is critical. When looking for a lawyer:

  • Find someone experienced with drug cases and involuntary intoxication defenses
  • Choose a local Chicago attorney familiar with local courts and prosecutors
  • Ask about their track record getting charges dismissed or reduced
  • Avoid lawyers who pressure you to plead guilty right away

Don’t go it alone against the power of the state. The stakes are too high. With an attorney’s help, you may be able to get charges dropped or significantly reduced.

The Bottom Line

Involuntary intoxication is a real defense in Chicago, but it isn’t easy to prove. You need strong evidence you were drugged unknowingly and couldn’t control your behavior. An experienced lawyer can help navigate this complex defense. Don’t wait – act now to preserve evidence and protect your future.

With the right legal strategy, an involuntary intoxication defense could get your drug charges dismissed. Don’t lose hope – you have options. Talk to a lawyer today.