As many people find out, the insanity defense can be very difficult to prove. Most cases, it is not an appropriate option, but there are still some where it can be used and should be considered. There’s no quick answer here, but your experienced Virginia criminal defense lawyer can discuss why you may or may not be able to consider an insanity defense.
In the insanity defense, the attorney must prove the defendant didn’t know right from wrong or that the defendant knew right from wrong, but couldn’t control his or her actions. If proven, a defendant may be acquitted.
A defense must show the following three things to prove their insanity claim:
- The defendant didn’t understand the character, nature and consequence of the crime.
- He or she was unable to accurately tell between right and wrong.
- He or she was driven be an irresistible impulse to commit the crime.
Many people who first ask about the insanity plea are unaware that even if proven innocent by reason of insanity, that does not necessarily mean the defendant will go free. Likely if the insanity plea is argued and won, the defendant will head to a mental institution instead of a prison. Treatment in such facilities can stretch a long period time, often longer than any prison term would cover.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in a case and need an experienced criminal defense attorney, call our offices today. At May Law, our lawyers have extensive knowledge in areas of criminal defense and will fight to protect you or your loved one’s freedoms. We will review your case and recommend the best course of action. We will consider an insanity defense if that seems the appropriate course of action. Call today for your free, initial consultation.