In a recent New York criminal assault case, the defendant unsuccessfully appealed his conviction of assault in the first degree. In the appeal, the defendant argued that the prosecution failed to prove his guilt by legally sufficient evidence because his intoxicated state when the crime was committed rendered him incapable of forming the requisite criminal intent. The appeals court denied his case, finding his claim unpreserved for appellate review. Further, the appeals court found that the evidence was legally sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant manifested the requisite criminal intent. Finally, the appeals court was satisfied that the verdict of guilt was not against the weight of the evidence. Generally, voluntary intoxication, either by some drug or alcohol, is not a defense to a criminal prosecution except to the extent that it negates the required culpable mental state to commit the crime.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant was involved in an altercation while intoxicated and was subsequently taken into custody by the police. The defendant raised several arguments on appeal. The defendant argued primarily that due to his intoxicated state when the crime was committed, he was incapable of forming the requisite criminal intent. The defendant also contended that the lower court erred in excluding a hearsay statement made to the police after the defendant was taken into custody. Further, the defendant claimed that beyond the hearsay issues, the lower court’s evidentiary ruling deprived him of his constitutional right to present a defense. Finally, the defendant argued that he was deprived of his federal or state constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel.