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Criminal Defense in Alabama- A Shelby County Criminal Defense Lawyer's Perspective

Posted by Erik Fine | Aug 10, 2020 | 0 Comments


What are defenses to a criminal charge in Alabama? 

There are many ways to defend a criminal charge in Alabama.  From challenging evidence during trial, challenging the composition of a Grand Jury, or by asserting your Constitutional Rights under the Bill of Rights.  However, Alabama has codified certain defenses that an accused may assert such as Mental Disease or Defect, Intoxication, and Immaturity. These defenses to criminal charges in Alabama are laid out below in complete detail:

2012 Code of Alabama
Chapter 3 - DEFENSES.
Section 13A-3-1 - Mental disease or defect.

Universal Citation: AL Code § 13A-3-1 (2012)

Section 13A-3-1 Mental disease or defect.

(a) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution for any crime that, at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the defendant, as a result of severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or wrongfulness of his acts. Mental disease or defect does not otherwise constitute a defense.

(b) "Severe mental disease or defect" does not include an abnormality manifested only by repeated criminal or otherwise antisocial conduct.

(c) The defendant has the burden of proving the defense of insanity by clear and convincing evidence.

2012 Code of Alabama
Chapter 3 - DEFENSES.
Section 13A-3-2 - Intoxication.

Universal Citation: AL Code § 13A-3-2 (2012)

Section 13A-3-2  Intoxication.

(a) Intoxication is not a defense to a criminal charge, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section. However, intoxication, whether voluntary or involuntary, is admissible in evidence whenever it is relevant to negate an element of the offense charged.

(b) When recklessness establishes an element of an offense and the actor is unaware of a risk because of voluntary intoxication, his unawareness is immaterial in a prosecution for that offense.

(c) Involuntary intoxication is a defense to prosecution if as a result the actor lacks capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law.

(d) Intoxication in itself does not constitute mental disease or defect within the meaning of Section 13A-3-1.

(e) In this section:

(1) "Intoxication" includes a disturbance of mental or physical capacities resulting from the introduction of any substance into the body.

(2) "Voluntary intoxication" means intoxication caused by substances that the actor knowingly introduced into his body, the tendency of which to cause intoxication he knows or ought to know, unless he introduces them under circumstances that would afford a defense to a charge of crime.

2012 Code of Alabama
Chapter 3 - DEFENSES.
Section 13A-3-3 - Immaturity.

Universal Citation: AL Code § 13A-3-3 (2012)

Section 13A-3-3 Immaturity.

The prosecution of any person as an adult shall be barred if the offense was committed when the actor was less than 14 years old.

There are many ways to attack a criminal charge.  If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, or are being accused of a crime, please be sure to contact an experienced criminal lawyer immediately to protect your Rights. 


About the Author

Erik Fine

Attorney Erik D. Fine, A.A., B.S., J.D. Mr. Fine, an Alabama native, is a graduate of Mountain Brook Public Schools. He received an athletic scholarship to play baseball at Kansas City Kansas Community College from which he graduated with an Associates Degree in Law Enforcement in 1989. It was i...


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Why Patriot Law Firm, LLC

Put attorney Erik Fine, an American Patriot and staunch defender of our Constitutional Rights with years of law enforcement experience and successful legal representation to work for you today. Like our forefathers, attorney Erik Fine will fight for your rights against oppression with passion, dignity, and unmatched relentlessness.