Mental Illness and Criminal Charges

Many individuals with mental illness have trouble controlling their mood, thoughts, and behaviors, and are thus susceptible to making poor decisions in many areas of their lives. When criminal activity occurs because of such poor decisions, it is up to the law to decide whether or not the criminal charges were caused by mental illness.

Because of the varying degrees of insanity, it is oftentimes difficult to come to a decision on a case involving a mentally unstable individual charged with criminal activity.

Dismissal of a Mentally Ill Individual’s Criminal Charges

There are a few standard qualifications that allow judges to dismiss criminal charges due to mental illness. Below are five factors that may alter the charges placed against a mentally ill individual.

  • The defendant’s incompetency to stand trial
  • The degree of insanity at the time of the criminal offense
  • The defendant’s state of mind or knowledgeable intentions
  • The degree of involvement and insanity at the sentencing phase
  • The defendant’s understanding of criminal sentencing, even execution

Although each of these are put into consideration when regarding dismissal of criminal charges, a mentally unstable individual is not immune from the law and is not guaranteed dropped or reduced charges.

Contact a Milwaukee Criminal Attorney

If someone you love suffers from a mental illness and has been accused or charged with criminal activity, it is imperative that they seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you are interested in our legal services, contact our Milwaukee criminal attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. today at (414) 271-9595.

Written by Michael Hart & Craig Powell

Last Updated : January 13, 2016