Tag Archives: criminal defense

Caffeine Intoxication, A legal defense?

A man kills his wife.

His reasoning, he had too much caffeine that day.

Sounds pretty ridiculous right? Well for defendant Woody Will Smith, a man facing life in prison for the death of his wife, this is his legal defense.

On the day he killed his wife, he claims he was hopped up on caffeine due to the consumption of coffee, diet pills and energy drinks and  the large amount of caffeine caused him to be too insane to have consciously and intentionally strangled his wife to death. He also alleged that he was suffering from chromic insomnia, and was worried about his wife leaving him, and on the day he killed his wife he was “in a daze.”

So does having too much caffeine have any legal basis? Surprisingly yes, it’s called caffeine intoxication.   A caffeine overdose is classified as consuming more then 300 milligrams of the substance.   Smith claims he consumed around 400 milligrams of caffeine that day; however, according to blood tests taken that day it was concluded that he was not as over-caffeinated as he claims.

What are the symptoms of caffeine intoxication? Well, mainly you can expect irregular heartbeats, jitters or nervousness, and even euphoria and muscle twitches. However, if you go way over the limit of ‘normal caffeine consumption’ more serious results can occur ranging from temporary insanity and mania to the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue that causes kidney failure.

Regardless of the medical proof that Caffeine intoxication is an actual illness, it still seems like a pretty far stretch that caffeine was the reason Woody Will Smith killed his wife. However, there is actually precedent that this defense has worked. In 2009, Daniel Noble actually won a dismissal of charges for running down and injuring several pedestrians with his car due to the fact that he drank two large Starbucks coffee’s before the incident and was consider to be “caffeine intoxicated.”

So what do you think? Does caffeine intoxication sound like a viable defense strategy?

Read the full story here


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Filed under Murder

The Criminal Process: Pre-Exam Conference (For A Felony)

After Arraignment, felony cases are generally scheduled for a Pre-Exam Conference, several days prior to the Preliminary Examination.  Defendant has a right to a Preliminary Examination within 14 days of the Arraignment of a felony.  A Pre-Exam Conference is very similar to a misdemeanor Pre-Trial Conference.  It is a meeting between an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Defendant (or his/her attorney) to discuss whether the case will be resolved prior to the Preliminary Examination.  If an agreement is reached, in other words, if a Plea Bargain is reached, Defendant will take a plea, usually that day, and then be sentenced, usually at a later date, in either District Court or Circuit Court, depending on the circumstances.

To see a definition of a Plea Bargain and what it involves, please take a look at my previous post,“The Criminal Process:  Pre-Trial Conference (for a Misdemeanor)”

If you have any questions about the criminal process or your Pre-Exam Conference contact Aida at (248)- 624-5500 or email her at Aida@ambroselawgroup.com

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Filed under Aida Spahic, Felony Conviction, The Criminal Process