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Attempt Rape Prince William Virginia Lawyer Specific Intent Assault

Attempt Rape Prince William Virginia Lawyer Specific Intent Assault

Commonwealth v. Millard
Facts:

Defendant challenged a judgment of the Circuit Court for the County of Prince William (Virginia), which entered a jury verdict convicting defendant of attempted rape. Defendant based his defense on a claim that his inebriated state on the night of the assault precluded him from forming the intent to engage in intercourse, and he argued that the trial court erred in charging the jury that the Commonwealth was not required to prove specific intent.

Attempt Rape Prince William Virginia Lawyer Specific Intent Assault

Attempt Rape Prince William Virginia Lawyer

Issue:
  • Whether the specific intent was required to prove for attempted rape?
Discussion:

Defendant argued that specific intent was required to prove attempted rape and that because his voluntary intoxication precluded him from forming that intent, the judgment of conviction was erroneous. On appeal, the court disagreed. The evidence established that defendant was discovered while he was about to rape the victim, a bedridden 83-year-old woman, and that upon being discovered, defendant walked or ran away. The victim’s testimony that defendant told her of his intent to rape her was uncontradicted. Thus, the court held that the jury could reasonably have concluded that defendant was not too drunk to possess an intent to commit rape. Because the trial court’s charge on specific intent was given in light of that evidence, the charge was applicable to the facts of the case and was not improper when applied thereto. Further, voluntary drunkenness was not an excuse for crimes or for attempts. Finally, while the trial court erred in overruling defendant’s objection to the prosecutor’s argument that alcohol excited passions and in stating that the argument was based on common sense, the error was harmless because the trial court later instructed the jury to disregard the remark. The court affirmed the judgment of the trial court

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A Virginia lawyer from our firm will talk with you about your sex crime case in Virginia and advise you about your options. You can count on a lawyer from our firm to try their best to help you obtain the best result possible based on the facts of your case.

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Article written by A Sris
Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

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