When an individual commits a crime, it is important to determine several factors before proceeding with a criminal trial. The individual’s motive, intentions, and mental state are all called into question. If a criminal act is committed under diminished or impaired mental conditions, the excuse of “diminished responsibility” may be used to explain the defendant’s actions.
Diminished responsibility is similar to an insanity plea in that it usually requires proof that an individual was in a certain state of mind at the time of the criminal act. If you have been accused of a crime and feel that you were acting under impaired mental conditions, call the Appleton criminal defense attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. at 414-271-9595.
Some Factors in Diminished Responsibility Defense
When an individual claims diminished responsibility, the following factors are often called into question:
- The defendant’s state of mind will be called into question
- The ability to reason, plan, and act will be deliberated
- Sufficient evidence should be shown to create “reasonable doubt” about the defendant’s mental state.
- The defense should be contrasted with an affirmative insanity defense.
- Insanity and diminished responsibility may be joined in one defense.
- The defendant may not be entitled to a full acquittal of all charges and may have to accept a reduced sentence.
Diminished responsibility often implies that an individual acted in a certain way under an impaired state, but does not always state that the individual should be found completely innocent of the crime.
If you have been accused of a crime and would like to discuss your legal options, contact the Appleton criminal defense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. at 414-271-9595 today.