Wisconsin law allows people to use the “insanity” defense in criminal trials – but when is that an acceptable way to defend someone in court, and what could happen if you’re found to be unable to stand trial for allegedly committing a crime? Here’s what you need to know.
Is Mental Illness a Good Criminal Defense in Wisconsin?
Under Wisconsin law, it’s acceptable for a defendant in a criminal case to say that, at the time of the alleged crime, he or she was suffering from a mental disease or defect that made it hard to distinguish right from wrong. If that happens in a criminal case, the person using the insanity defense will have to be psychologically evaluated – and a qualified evaluator will have to make a determination about that person’s mental fitness.
Does Being Found Not Guilty Due to Insanity Mean You Walk Away?
If you use the insanity defense in your case, the court will most likely address whether you’re guilty or not guilty of the crime at trial before considering your mental state. Then, after the court determines whether you’re guilty or not guilty, it will determine whether you were not guilty by reason of insanity. Even if the court finds that you’re not guilty by reason of insanity, you aren’t likely to go straight home with no consequences. You’ll probably be sent to a mental healthcare facility until the healthcare professionals there – including a psychiatrist, psychologist or other qualified professional – determine that you’re not a serious threat to public safety.
What Should You Do if You’re Not Guilty of a Crime by Reason of Insanity?
If you have been accused of a crime but you’re not guilty by reason of insanity, we may be able to help you. Call our office today at 414-383-6700 to schedule your consultation now – we’re here to answer your questions and give you case-specific legal advice.