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Director of Public Prosecutions v. Majewski

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Majewski appealed to the House of Lords after he was disallowed to use the defense of intoxication in his assault charges.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Voluntary intoxication is not a defense to assault unless the crime requires specific intent.

    Facts.

    Majewski went to a bar after taking different amphetamines and barbiturates, resulting in a fight with the bar owner, a customer, and the police. Majewski raised the defense of intoxication, claiming that the drugs caused him to lose control of his actions. The trial court convicted Majewski for assault and Majewski appealed to the House of Lords.

    Issue.

    Whether voluntary intoxication is a defense to assault?

    Held.

    No. The decision of the trial court is affirmed.

    Discussion.

    Voluntary intoxication is not a defense against assault because assault is not a specific intent crime. Allowing Majewski to use the voluntary intoxication defense would relieve people of responsibility for their actions after they take various drugs.


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