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. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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