People in Tennessee may not realize that in some cases, intoxication can be used as a defense to criminal charges. While being under the influence of alcohol is not usually a valid defense, if people are intoxicated without their knowledge, it might be. This is known as involuntary intoxication, and intoxication can also be considered involuntary if a person is forced or coerced to drink.
Another defense may be pathological intoxication, which is when a person becomes unexpectedly intoxicated on less alcohol than would normally be expected. An example would be a person who has an allergy they were unaware of. Intoxication in these cases can be a defense if the person is in a state that can be considered legally insane. This means that the person is either unable to understand what they are doing or they are unable to control themselves.
It is possible that in some cases, a person may be able to use voluntary impairment by alcohol or drugs as a defense if the person is in a condition that is legally insane, but this is a more complex matter and depends on the circumstances. It is also less likely to succeed
A person might have been forced to consume alcohol or drugs and then to participate in something illegal. In such a case, the person might be able to claim involuntary intoxication as a defense. There are many other defense strategies that an attorney could also employ. A person who has been connected to an incident due to an eyewitness report may have been mistakenly identified. Another option is a plea bargain that would involve a deal with the prosecution where the defendant would enter a plea of guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for a lesser penalty.