Insanity Defense in Criminal Cases

April 27, 2020

In certain criminal cases, certain defendants believe that they should consider pleading the insanity defense. This defense is a complicated one and requires essentially that a defendant fully admits that they committed the crime, but that due to their insanity they should not be held responsible for their actions or found guilty. 

Benefits of the Insanity Defense

The use of an insanity defense in a criminal case eliminates the need for a trial to determine guilt. The defendant is agreeing that they committed the crime and thus avoids the long trial that typically accompanies a criminal case. The case now turns on whether or not the person is legally insane, and understands right from wrong. This can also take a considerable amount of time, and require expert medical witnesses. If a defendant is found guilty of the crime as well as insane, they may be afforded a more lenient sentence, and even an acquittal depending on the circumstances of the case. However, it is important to note that the ability to obtain a favorable verdict with an insanity defense is oftentimes a challenging legal battle. 

Drawbacks of the Insanity Defense 

If the specific jurisdiction allows for an insanity defense, the case is not always quickly resolved. These types of cases take considerable time and cost. Additionally, a majority of insanity defense cases fail, due to the fact that courts are generally reluctant to easily allow an insanity defense and set a dangerous precedent for future cases. Additionally, even if a defendant pleads insanity and succeeds, they may still get either jail time or be required to spend an undetermined amount of time in a mental facility. 

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today 

If you are facing a criminal charge and are considering using the insanity defense, you should understand the legal repercussions for doing so, and whether or not you have a strong case for an insanity defense. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at  David Aylor Law Offices today at (843) 212-2684 or online, to discuss how we can help you build a strong criminal defense against the charges you face.

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