The Insanity Plea

In a criminal trial, the defendant will decide whether he or she should plead guilty or not guilty, usually with the help of an attorney. In some cases, the defendant may admit to committing the crime, but still have a reason that he or she should not be considered fully responsible. For example, in rare cases, defendants will choose to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

While it can be a valid defense, the insanity plea is very difficult to enter successfully. If you have committed a crime that you believe was linked to mental illness, you should talk to an experienced attorney about your legal options. To discuss your case with a knowledgeable Dallas criminal defense lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter today at (214) 845-7007.

What is the Insanity Defense?

When a person enters a plea of “not guilty by reason of insanity,” he or she is arguing that at the time the crime was committed, he or she was incapable of telling the difference between right and wrong. It is important to note that a person may have a diagnosed mental illness, but still be ineligible for the insanity plea if he or she is still capable of understanding the law.

The Two Types of Insanity

The insanity plea has been used as a defense in two different types of cases. The first one assumes that the perpetrator was cognitively impaired so that he or she did not know the nature of the crime or was unable to realize the wrongness of the act.

On the other hand, one type of insanity plea that has been used is linked to irresistible impulses. This “volitional insanity” occurs when a person knows that an act is wrong, but he or she may be unable to stop the crime due to an irresistible impulse.

Contact Us

If you have been accused of a crime, you should enlist the help of a lawyer who is prepared to fight for your rights. Contact a Dallas criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter at (214) 845-7007 today to learn more about your legal options.


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