The Insanity Plea
When an individual is accused of a crime, he or she will be found either guilty or not guilty of the crime. In rare cases, the individual may be found not guilty on the grounds of insanity. When an individual successfully makes the insanity plea, he or she may avoid jail time, but will likely spend time in a mental health facility instead.
Making the insanity plea requires an extensive background check and an experienced criminal defense lawyer. If you or someone you love committed a crime but think that mental illness was a factor, contact the San Jose criminal defense lawyers of the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C. at (408) 296-4100.
Elements of the Plea
When an accused individual makes the insanity plea, he or she claims innocence due to lacking the mental capacity to realize he or she did wrong. For the court to uphold this claim, an individual must present evidence of insanity.
In most cases, the individual making the insanity plea will have to undergo psychiatric testing before making the plea. The licensed doctor who analyzes the accused individual will determine whether the individual is, in fact, legally insane. It is important to note that a person can have a mental illness without meeting the legal definition of insanity: an inability to tell right from wrong.
An individual found to be legally insane will usually face treatment in a mental health facility rather than jail time. The person will generally remain in treatment until he or she is no longer consider a threat to himself or herself, or other people.
The insanity plea can prevent jail time for mentally incapacitated individuals. If you or your loved one committed a crime due to mental illness, the San Jose criminal defense attorneys of the Law Office of Daniel Jensen will fight for you. Contact us today at (408) 296-4100.