The Concept of Diminished Responsibility in Criminal Law

criminal lawyer in MarylandDiminished responsibility is one of the defenses that can turn the tides for any case. Learn about the concept and see how it can help change your case.

Psychological Matters

Insanity, imbecility, and senility can diminish the responsibility of the person. These conditions affect the mind of the person, making them unable to decide like a normal functioning adult. Simply put, the law puts into perspective the fact that when the mind is not criminal, the act is not criminal as well.

To better explain, the law sees that when the person is not in the right state to decide, they could not have acted with discernment and could not have intended to do the criminal act.

Influence of Substances and Drugs

The influence of drugs and alcohol is traditionally not considered as a viable defense of diminished responsibility because the law looks into the choices made by the person. When one is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is very usual that they have taken that choice as a voluntary and personal choice.

However, a seasoned Maryland criminal lawyer may use this as a defense by inspecting first the reason behind the substance or the medication. It becomes a viable defense if the person needs an anti-depressant or calming drug for a psychological condition.

Lucid Interval and The Concept of ‘Habituality’ Under the Law

The defense might not work when there’s a lucid interval and the crime was committed on such occasion. This shows that the person was in control of their mental faculties and could discern the act.

Habituality also shows that the person is already well-acquainted with the substance or the drug.

Dealing with a criminal case can be hard, but with the right defense you shouldn’t have to worry. Study the basic concepts and find the best course of action to take.

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