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3 Things To Consider When Proving An Insanity Defense

Health & Medical Blog

If you have a son who was charged with murder and he has a mental illness, then he may benefit from pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. When a defendant is found not guilty by reason of insanity, he or she is given a less severe punishment. However, you have to prove to the court that they did not understand what they were doing at the time of the crime. Here are three things to consider when proving an insanity defense.

Hire An Experienced Attorney

It is important to hire legal representation for your son as soon as possible. If you are going with an insanity defense, then you should get an attorney with experience. A good option would be an attorney who was recently in the news for trying a similar case.

Get Evaluated By A Mental Health Counselor

One of the ways to prove a sanity defense is to schedule an appointment with a mental health counselor for your son through a company like Lincoln Psychiatric Group. To evaluate mental health, the counselor gives the defendant an assessment. A mental health assessment provides the counselor with an overall picture of how the person feels emotionally. It also reveals how well the defendant is at remembering, reasoning and thinking.

This examination is used as a time for the counselor to examine the defendant and ask questions. Some questions may require the defendant to reply in writing. The assessment may also include taking lab tests for urine and blood samples. This type of testing checks for mental conditions like depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

The counselor will put their findings on file and hand over a copy to your lawyer. He or she can also come to court and testify about what was found during the evaluation.

Must Meet Legal Requirements

The legal definition of insanity varies by state. For example, a defendant can be found legally insane in one state, but may get a guilty verdict in another state. However, most states apply one of three rules to define insanity. These three rules are M'Naghten rule, Durham Rule and Model Penal Code Rule.

Under the M'Naghten rule, the defendant is so deranged that he or she did not know that their actions would result in wrongdoing. Under the Durham Rule, the defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity if the crime was committed because of a mental illness. The Model Penal Code Rule states that the defendant can be found not guilty by reason of insanity if he or she was diagnosed with a mental disease at the time of the crime. If so, the defendant was unable to appreciate his or her criminal behavior or obey the requirements of the law. For these reasons, a defendant can be found legally insane.

The insanity defense is hard to prove. However, it is possible with a good lawyer and evidence.


17 January 2016