The diminished capacity defense is used to limit criminal liability after a defendant has been accused of a crime. Perhaps you want to use this as a defense with the help of your attorney because you did not have the mental capacity to commit the crime that you were accused of. When this defense is used, it is used for crimes of ‘specific intent,’ or those that happen with an intentional state of mind.
Diminished Capacity Vs. Insanity Defense
Diminished capacity and insanity defenses are different from one another. If a plea of insanity is given, this will lead to the judge sentencing ‘not guilty by reason of insanity,’ which means that you could be committed to a mental institution as a result. If you had diminished capacity, on the other hand, you will probably get a lesser charge.
Sometimes, people believe that they can use diminished capacity in heat of passion crimes, but this is a lot different tan those crimes. In heat of passion crimes, the defendant had no time to think over or plan their crime, so it is not possible for them to receive the highest extent of charges. Many people bring diminished capacity defenses for crimes where they were intoxicated at the time of the crime, so they did not have the reason to form intent before committing the crime.
You want to be prepared for anything when it comes to your case. This is why it is good to speak with an attorney if you want to bring a defense of diminished capacity, because you don’t want to handle your case on your own. Call us for more information on how we can help at the Law Office of Peter Blair.