Woman Claims She Was Under The Influence Of Marijuana While Shoplifting
They say that marijuana use is harmless. After all, the drug has never actually killed anyone. But it can apparently cause you to get in trouble with the law, according to an elderly Florida woman, who claims that her medical marijuana made her unaware she was stealing clothing.
The 78-year-old woman was arrested on October 11 at the Town Center in Boca Raton. She is facing grand theft charges after stealing more than $1,000 in merchandise.
The woman allegedly stole multiple clothing items from the Saks Fifth Avenue store. Employees found her hiding clothing inside her purse and then going into the bathroom. They found price tags in the trash.
The woman was questioned by South Florida police. She told them that she was under the influence of medical marijuana at the time of the robbery and was unaware of what she was doing. She was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail. She has since been released.
Is Intoxication a Defense?
The woman in this case was under the influence of medical marijuana when she committed the theft. Is that a valid defense? Most likely, no.
There are two types of intoxication: voluntary and involuntary. The woman was voluntarily intoxicated in this case. She knowingly consumed the marijuana, knowing that being under the influence of the drug could cause negative effects. While intent generally needs to be proven, when a person is so intoxicated that they could not have had the intent to commit the crime, voluntary intoxication cannot be used as a defense.
The only possible exception would be the use of prescription drugs. If a person is using medications prescribed by a doctor, and they use the medications as directed but become unexpectedly intoxicated, a voluntary intoxication defense may be valid in such a situation.
Then there is involuntary intoxication. Under an involuntary intoxication defense, the defendant claims that their intoxication was not voluntary and therefore there was no intent, which is required to be convicted of the criminal offense. Involuntary intoxication can occur when the defendant unknowingly ingested an intoxicating substance, such as drugs or alcohol, or knowingly ingested the substance out of force, fraud, duress, or trickery. For example, if a person is at a party and their lemonade was spiked with alcohol and they became intoxicated, they could use involuntary intoxication as a defense if they were charged with a crime.
Contact Us Today
The woman is facing grand theft charges in this instance, but even shoplifting on a smaller scale is still considered a serious crime. It is a crime of dishonesty, and because theft of any kind hurts business owners, it can still harm your reputation.
Even shoplifting can lead to fines and jail time. Seek legal help from an Orlando theft crime lawyer from Joshi Law Firm. We’ll work hard to defend your case. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (407) 661-1109.