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Does temporary insanity work as a defense?

| Jan 29, 2020 | Murder And Violent Crimes |

Violent crimes are some of the most horrible to deal with. They can take place in the middle of a conflict, as a result of harassment or abuse and for many other reasons. When a person snaps, they can turn on those around them and end up harming them.

There are times when you may be so overwhelmed, angry or fearful that you do things that you don’t remember or that you wouldn’t normally do. For cases like that, one option is to use a temporary insanity defense.

To win your case using this defense, you would have to show that you were briefly insane at the time a crime was committed. For example, someone who is so enraged by someone else’s action against them might temporarily lose all sense and attack them. That might be insanity if the other person’s actions triggered a psychiatric episode of some kind.

Temporary insanity is an interesting defense because it relies on the idea that you temporarily went insane and then regained your sanity following a criminal act. If you decide to make this plea, you should expect to go through a psychological examination. Your mental state will be examined, so it can be determined if you are currently “insane” by law or if you’re in your right mind.

Temporary insanity is a rare plea, but there are examples of it working. For instance, several people have used it as a successful defense in North Dakota, with the most recent being a case of a 35-year-old man who assaulted an alleged family member’s rapist while also terrorizing that person’s grandchildren and son.

Even if it’s not possible to be found not guilty, you may be able to use this defense to argue diminished capacity and plead to a lesser offense. This is something to discuss based on the facts of your case.


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