Can I get charges dropped if I was under the influence of alcohol? 2 Answers as of December 27, 2011

My boyfriend and I were fighting in our house after coming from a night out of heavy drinking and things became physical and both of us sustained injuries. I was arrested and charged with assault even though I was the one who called 911. How can this go away from my record? I have no prior criminal history and I have a good govt. job.

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The Law Office of Marc G. Snyder | Marc Gregory Snyder
Being drunk is not an excuse to the charges you are facing, at least not int he way you explained your situation. Intoxication can be used to get out of some contracts, for example, when it is found that due to the intoxication one of the parties was unable to "understand" what was going on. However, in your situation, you chose to drink, to drink too much, and therefore, the consequences are on you. That being said, the drinking may come into play down the road when you are dealing with the State and/or the Judge as an explanation of why things happened the way they did. From what you say, I am assuming you have not gone to Court yet to face these charges. You should call an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can speak to the State's Attorney's Office and work to either get the charges dropped, reduced, or to defend if the State goes forward. If you and your BF are both charged with the same thing, from the same event, it is possible the State might not go forward. A good lawyer can help you get this done.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 12/27/2011
Law Office of William C. Wood, LLC | William C. Wood
Voluntary intoxication would generally not provide a defense sufficient for the State to drop the charge. However, if you have no prior record, it is possible that you could receive probation before judgment, which would not show up as a conviction and could eventually be expunged. I would strongly recommend consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine potential defenses and to put yourself in the best position possible in the event that you enter into a plea agreement. You may want to consider having an alcohol evaluation and/or seeking anger management counseling if appropriate.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 12/22/2011
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