Should You Plead Insanity?
With the help of Hollywood, pleading insanity is something that most people know about. It is seen as a means for people suffering from mental health crises to avoid or minimize criminal punishments to instead get the help and treatment they need for their medical condition. Or as a means for sane people to stay out of jail and get a lighter sentence when convicted of a crime. As a result, it is commonly believed that a good strategic approach to overcoming a crime and obtaining the most optimal results is to plead insanity. But are these beliefs rooted in reality?
Mental illness can play a role in determining the outcome of a sentence in a criminal case, or it may not have any weight on what a penalty will be. And, while what Hollywood portrays in movies and television shows may be theatrical and intriguing, these stories do not always accurately depict what really happens in real life.
It is best to leave criminal defense strategizing to professionals. If you were arrested and accused of a crime, the best thing to do is be open and honest with your attorney about your situation. Lying or holding back on all of the details of your situation and background only hurts you because it impairs your attorney’s ability to be prepared for everything to represent you and build the most robust defense possible for your circumstances.
Think First Before Pleading Insanity
The Orlando criminal defense attorneys at Joshi Law Firm, PA, have decades of combined experience helping clients from all backgrounds get the most optimal results when charged with both state and federal crimes. The question about pleading insanity as a defense is an inquiry that the legal team at Joshi Law Firm, PA, has heard on many occasions. The following discusses some considerations to think about when wondering if pleading insanity is the right move.
Despite what you may have seen on the silver screen, pleading insanity is not a commonly used defense strategy, and for good reason. If you decide that you are going to tell the court that you are not of sound mind and, in fact, insane, then you give the court the full ability to take control of your treatment. You essentially are giving them the right to be much more involved in your care than they would if you did not say you were inept due to your mental status.
What does this mean? This means that you may have no control over your treatment plan, and a court could potentially keep you in psychiatric treatment for a very long time or even indefinitely. So, while pleading insane may possibly help you with an acquittal of your charges, that does not mean you will not be sentenced to long-term in-patient treatment. This is, compared to if you did not plead insanity and were convicted of a crime. In this scenario, you may only have a limited time that you would be incarcerated. Then, after you served your time, you would be released and be able to live independently and free again.
As a result, pleading insanity could impair your ability to be free and get back to your life outside of confinement in an institution. What is to be learned from this? Instead of turning to Hollywood for legal counsel, speaking with an attorney is usually going to work out better.
Call a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Today
The defense strategy a defendant uses will be on a case-by-case basis, depending on their circumstances. An experienced attorney will know the best approach for improving the chances that the best outcomes result.
For a free initial consultation with a talented and seasoned Orlando criminal defense lawyer at Joshi Law Firm, PA, please call (407) 661-1109.