What if you committed a crime while you were asleep?

Drunk Driving
By Goodwin Como, P.C.

A few weeks ago, the American Broadcasting Company fired Roseanne Barr from the reboot of her popular TV sitcom “Roseanne” after she posted racist comments on Twitter. In an effort to justify her behavior, the comedian and actress explained that it was a result of having taken the sleep aid Ambien the night before. Sanofi—the manufacturer of the drug—released a statement refuting her claim, stating that there is no drug that causes racism.

Sanofi is right: it would be far-fetched to link medication to bigoted beliefs. Nonetheless, it could be conceivable to blame Ambien for sleep-tweeting. Ambien has been shown to cause a variety of unconscious behaviors in patients who are asleep. In today’s post, we examine the repercussions of these side effects.

The dangerous side effects of Ambien

According to its warning label, after you take Ambien, “you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night.” This combination of hypnotic behavior and amnesia is a recipe for disaster.

There have been many reported cases of patients engaging in activities while sleeping—and having no recollection of them upon waking. In some cases, patients’ activities—such as eating inedible substances or crashing their car into a tree—have led to personal injury.

In more serious cases, patients have even committed crimes in their sleep. One woman who had taken Ambien got behind the wheel while asleep and drove over a family of three. A man molested a young girl while asleep and under the influence of Ambien.

Imagine you went to bed at home one night as usual. When you awoke, you found yourself in jail—accused of sexual assault or manslaughter. Now imagine that you had no memory of the preceding night’s events. It’s a frightening prospect.

If you cause inadvertent harm to someone else after taking Ambien and have no memory of committing the crime, it’s important to find a defense attorney who understands the legal complexities associated with this type of case and can create the best possible defense strategy for you.