The Insanity Plea

You may have heard about it in the news or seen it on television. The insanity defense (or when the verdict is “not guilty by reason of insanity”) occurs when a person charged with a crime pleads that he or she is mentally ill, and thus caused the crime because of that illness. Contrary to popular opinion, this plea is not a “get-out-of-jail-free card.” Those who are deemed insane do not go to prison, but rather, to a mental hospital for treatment. This can often take longer than a jail sentence. In addition, some individuals may still serve a jail sentence after treatment is complete.

This is an extremely risky form of defense because the defendant’s legal counsel is unable to negotiate a plea bargain or contest the material facts of the case. If you or someone you love has been accused of a felony and you believe the insanity defense may apply, contact a Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer from Hart Powell, S.C. at (414) 271-9595 today.

Facts Regarding the Insanity Plea

The following statistics relate to the insanity plea as a defense tool:

  • Sixty to seventy percent of cases invoking the insanity plea are for crimes other than murder.
  • Three states do not view the insanity plea as a viable defense: Idaho, Montana and Utah.
  • According to a study from the early 1990s, eight states were sampled and the report found that this particular plea was used in less than one percent of all criminal cases. Only a quarter of these resulted in acquittal.

The insanity plea is not a way to avoid justice. It is a very serious declaration and requires the skill of an experienced attorney to explain correctly and thoroughly to the court. The best way to help your chances in a court of law is by hiring a lawyer with years of education and experience before pursing an insanity plea on your own.

Contact Us

To learn more about your legal options following a felony arrest, contact a Milwaukee criminal defense attorney from Hart Powell, S.C. at (414) 271-9595 today.

Written by Michael Hart & Craig Powell

Last Updated : January 14, 2016