A criminal defense attorney in Redwood City, CA can tell you that a well-known but often misunderstood legal strategy is the insanity defense. At least in movies, this is often used when somebody is accused of murder. It is not as commonly used a plea as popular culture suggests. Except in cases where there is no practical alternative, there are often more effective legal defense strategies that can be used in order to clear the accused’s name. If you were charged with a serious crime such as murder, it’s very important that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer without delay. A skilled criminal defense attorney serving Redwood City, CA, such as one from The Morales Law Firm can protect your rights from the onset, and make every effort possible to minimize the possibility of your situation worsening. California law enforcement officers, detectives, and prosecutors are notorious for tricking accused persons into making self-incriminating statements that are later used at trial to convict them of crimes they may not have committed.
What is the insanity defense?
The insanity defense is a strategy that might be employed by a Redwood City, CA criminal defense attorney on behalf of their client. In an insanity defense, the defendant’s lawyer must prove to the judge or jury that their client did not understand the potential results of their criminal act and in fact, did not understand that their action was wrong. Perhaps the accused acted on impulse and without the ability to think ahead to what might happen as a result of their action. For example, a person who has been certified by California medical professionals to have a mental impairment did not realize that hitting a victim with force would injure or kill their victim. If the judge or jury agrees, the accused might be found not guilty by reason of insanity. However, not every state allows for the insanity defense. During a free consultation with our criminal defense attorney for Redwood City, CA at The Morales Law Firm, you can learn more about available legal defenses based on the circumstances of your case.
Determining the Applicability of a Legal Insanity Defense
The permissibility of a particular legal defense varies by jurisdiction. Your criminal defense lawyer can provide you with specifics based on which court your trial will be held in, but the following tests are often used to determine if an accused can plead legal insanity:
- The irresistible impulse test. The defendant could not control their impulses because they suffer from a mental disease and that led them to commit the criminal act.
- The legal insanity model penal code test. Because the defendant suffered from a mental defect of some kind for which they had not been diagnosed by a medical professional, they could not understand their action was criminal.
- The Durham Rule. Whether or not the defendant had been clinically diagnosed as such, their mental defect was directly responsible for them having committed the criminal act.
- The M’Naghten Rule. Either the defendant could not understand the criminal action they committed, or was unable to tell the difference between wrong and right because they suffer from a “diseased” mind.
Charged with a Criminal Offense?
Whether you were charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, it’s important to have legal representation within the criminal justice system. Call us at The Morales Law Firm without delay to learn about your defense options from a respected criminal defense attorney serving Redwood City, CA.