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Defense options for those who suffer from mental illnesses

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2023 | Criminal Defense

The harsh repercussions that result from committing crimes in the state of California make it extremely difficult to return to one’s normal life. Pleading guilty can lead to financial setbacks, social barriers or even years behind bars. While fighting to lift charges completely would be ideal, at least aiming to lessen the penalties can make a world of difference, especially for those who’ve had mental struggles well before running into trouble with the law.

So, what should someone who believes their mental state impacted their actions ahead of a crime do? It’s important to leave the case strategizing to professionals, but learning about possible defenses can help one keep calm in the meantime:

  1. Claiming insanity: There are times when individuals are in a mental position where they can’t tell what is right from what is wrong. Severe mental illness could drive someone to commit a crime they haven’t thoroughly thought through and still can’t process after the fact.
  2. Proving diminished capacity: When insanity is difficult or impossible to prove, it’s possible to use diminished capacity as a defense option. In instances where a defendant can recognize their actions weren’t just and poor mental health impacted their decision-making, the court may recognize a diminished capacity plea.

Due to the intricate nuances of mental health, there is a plethora of other defense paths that could be possible. A skilled attorney can help lead the way and maybe even open up an option to skip jail and commit to treatment instead.

If someone is struggling with their mental health, they should also lean on loved ones and professionals to help them out. A second chance could be right around the corner, and positive thinking, therapy and moral support can go a long way when fighting for it.