A physical altercation with another person in South Carolina could easily lead to assault charges. Even if the other person doesn’t suffer serious injuries, they could ask the state to prosecute. Other people could also call the police during the fight, leading to your arrest as the alleged instigator.
Many assaults occur at parties or venues that serve alcohol. Intoxication frequently plays a role in a person’s decision to resolve a disagreement with physical force, and you may feel like things would never have reached the point that they did if you hadn’t enjoyed a few too many adult beverages that evening.
Could your intoxication give you grounds for a defense against those charges?
Voluntary intoxication is not a legal defense
There are certain situations in which you can mount an affirmative defense. You agree with the claim that you broke the law, but you assert that the situation justifies it or meets a specific exception to the law. Scenarios, where you lack full cognitive function, can sometimes give rise to an affirmative defense.
The courts in South Carolina have ruled in cases where people used voluntary intoxication defenses and determined that such a defense was not a viable strategy. While you might think that your decision to drink may have limited your rational decision-making ability, the courts will not view that as a viable excuse for breaking the law. When you choose to consume alcohol, you accept the possible consequences that come from impaired behavior.
Learning more about state law can help you identify a workable defense strategy for your recent assault charges. Reaching out to an attorney can be a good way to initiate that educational process.