ILNews

Judges refuse to create another intoxication defense

Jennifer Nelson
January 19, 2012
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The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that he should be allowed to use intoxication as a defense to his criminal charges because the prescription medication that caused his strange behavior was taken for valid medical purposes.

Tommy Alfrey, who has multiple health problems, had valid prescriptions for Oxycontin and Oxycodone to help manage pain. He appeals his convictions in three separate matters. Alfrey’s actions led to convictions of felony theft and residential entry, among other convictions, and to his probation being revoked.

While taking his prescribed drugs, Alfrey was acting strange and ended up breaking into an apartment and stealing pudding. In another incident, he entered a neighbor’s home and thought he was supposed to be there to perform maintenance requested by Alfrey’s landlord. The homeowner said Alfrey was mumbling but did leave her home when asked.

After he was convicted of the two residential entry incidents, the trial court revoked his probation.

He appealed in Tommy D. Alfrey v. State of Indiana, No. 54A01-1104-CR-169, claiming the trial court’s instruction regarding the defense of intoxication constituted fundamental error. He argued that the defense has “its roots in drunkenness” and doesn’t apply to prescription medications taken for medical purposes. Indiana Code 35-41-3-5 establishes only two circumstances in which intoxication may be used as a defense: if the intoxication resulted from the introduction of a substance into the body without consent or when the person didn’t know the substance might cause intoxication.

Alfrey voluntarily took the medication that caused his intoxication and knew it could cause impairment, so the judges declined to create a third exception. The trial court’s instructions were consistent with the law.

 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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