Is Mental Illness a Defense for DUI in Arizona?

27February
2019

We are sometimes asked if mental illness is a defense for DUI in Arizona. As with any other crime, issues of mental competency may be raised in drunk driving cases.

An underlying mental health issue can also be presented by a defense attorney as a mitigating factor during sentencing for a drunk driving offense.

The existence of a mental health issue can explain lapses that lead to drunk driving. We also see cases in which a cocktail of drugs taken to treat a mental disorder impairs driving. Issues such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, or a bipolar disorder often fuel alcohol abuse.

Mental health offenders and DUI in Arizona

DUI in Arizona is taken seriously

The Dual Diagnosis website set up by the Foundations Recovery Network points out victims of untreated or undiagnosed mental health issues habitually turn to alcohol or drugs as a form of self-medication. This may lead to impulsive and irresponsible actions such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  The site states:

“Those with certain mental illnesses are less likely to be able to limit their alcohol consumption. Diagnoses such as bipolar disorder or severe anxiety mean that the individual may have trouble finding ‘steady ground,’ even when sober.”

Rule 11 in Arizona may be relevant to drunk driving cases as well as other crimes. Rule 11 states in order for a defendant to be found competent for trial he or she must have a factual understanding of the proceedings being brought and be competent to consult with his lawyer.

Defendants suffering from a serious “mental disease or defect” can claim the insanity defense, although it is used sparingly. This is known as Guilty Except Insane (GEI) in Arizona.

Although many conditions count as a mental disease or a defect, voluntary intoxication or withdrawal from alcohol are not mental diseases in their own right.

In DUI cases, an experienced criminal defense lawyer will also highlight underlying mental health conditions that may have led a defendant to get behind the wheel while drunk. For instance, former service personnel who return from war zones often suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The condition can cause alcohol abuse and lead to a DUI charge. Presenting the underlying circumstances may result in sentence mitigation.

In some cases, police take advantage of mentally ill drivers during a DUI stop. Failure to follow correct procedures are challenged by defense lawyers.

When police or highway patrol officers suspect a motorist of drunk driving, they will usually perform a breath test. When you drink alcohol, your body absorbs the alcohol. It quickly enters the bloodstream. The alcohol will leave your body on your breath. Police officers use this reading on your breath to build a drunk driving case against you.

On occasions, breath tests are inaccurate. A breath test must measure a ‘deep lung’ air sample. When the driver blows into the Breathalyzer’s mouthpiece, the breath creates a chemical reaction that measures your blood/alcohol (BAC) content. In Arizona, you will receive a DUI if your (BAC) is above .08 percent. The figure is .04 for a commercial driver or 0 percent for a driver under 21.

Criminal defense lawyers often challenge the accuracy of the Breathalyzer test for DUI in Arizona. A Breathalyzer is a machine. Its results may be inaccurate due to technical or human errors.

In some cases, software glitches occur on Breathalyzers that produce a false reading. There have been well-documented cases of police departments that fail to correctly calibrate their machines. Breathalyzers need fully working batteries but they are not always supplied.

There are also instances of defective and unreliable breath machines on the market. Even the underlying science of the breath test is in dispute.

Police officers have to be properly trained to use and read the results from Breathalyzers. If an officer has made an error in administering a test, the reading may be inaccurate.

Police must observe the suspect for a 15-minute interval where he or she does not belch, regurgitate, drink anything or smoke. The test must be restarted if this happens. However, law enforcement officers have many distractions and may fail to carry out this test properly.

Other factors can skew a breath test and prove important in your DUI defense. If you suffer from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), acid may rise into your esophagus and mouth. It can render a breath test inaccurate.

Mouthwash and other products that contain alcohol may affect a breath test. Even dentures can store alcohol. People with mental illnesses may appear to be intoxicated due to drugs they take to address the illness.

Breathalyzer tests are not always straightforward, particularly when the readings are borderline. Police in Arizona often fail to follow correct procedures during DUI stops. Results from these stops can be challenged by an Arizona DUI lawyer.

At the Garcia Law Firm, we help people who are charged with drunk driving. We assist people with mental disorders who are stopped and arrested and provide help and advice to their family members. Please call us today at (602) 340-1999.

Posted in DUI, Mental Health | Tagged |

Is there a Link Between Schizophrenia and Violent Crime?

25February
2019

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness. Some academics link schizophrenia to violent crime. Research suggests a failure to properly treat the disorder can lead to a deterioration that may result in violence.

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects under one percent of the U.S. population, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

Active symptoms of the disorder include hallucinations, problems with thinking and focus, delusions, and a lack of motivation. Most of the more acute symptoms can be successfully treated.

Without treatment, the consequences for the sufferer and society can be high. A report in Schizophrenia.com states people with the disorder who fail to receive proper treatment often end up homeless or in jail. However, their crimes are usually misdemeanors rather than crimes of violence.

The report noted as many as 200,000 people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (manic depression) end up homeless. They comprise about a third of the homeless population of the United States.

Schizophrenia.com notes there are more people living on the streets with untreated psychiatric illnesses than people who receive care in hospitals. About 90,000 people with schizophrenia or bipolar illnesses are in hospitals receiving treatment for their conditions.

 

 

 

Some studies point to a link between untreated schizophrenia and mental illness. In 2011, researchers in Australia considered the link between schizophrenia, drug abuse, and violent criminal behavior.

The article published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, was published by a group of academics in Australia and the Institute of Psychiatry in London.

Researchers evaluated people in police and mental health databases.

The team compared rates of schizophrenia disorders, conviction rates, and substance abuse among the 435 homicide offenders.

They compared them with other samples. Of the offenders, 38 of the 435 offenders (8.7 percent) were diagnosed with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder.  The research found a higher level of homicides among people with schizophrenia.

James Ogloff, J.D., Ph.D., a professor of clinical forensic psychology at Monash University in Australia, and a co-author of the report said:

“Patients with schizophrenia are significantly more likely than those in the general community to commit homicide offenses. Known substance abuse or prior offending rates for those with schizophrenia are not more significant indicators for risk of future offending among homicide offenders than for other groups.”

Other reports have failed to show a link. Schizophrenia.com maintains violence is not a symptom of schizophrenia and people with the disorder are more likely to harm themselves than others.

The seriousness of this disorder and its potential consequences if untreated are not in doubt. The criminal justice system offers inadequate protections for people with schizophrenia. If you or a schizophrenic family member has been arrested, it’s important to contact a lawyer with specialist knowledge in this area. Please call us at (602) 340-1999.

Posted in Mental Health | Tagged |

Court Rules a Judge Can Order Arizona to Develop a Prison Staffing Plan to Meet Mental Health Needs

22February
2019

It’s no secret that mentally ill people require greater attention and care than other inmates in Arizona and elsewhere. Mental health advocates believe this means more prison workers are required to meet the unique needs of mentally ill inmates in prisons.

The prison system in Arizona has fought demands for greater staffing.

However, at the end of 2018, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with lawyers who represent inmates. The justices found a federal magistrate judge made a mistake when he concluded a past settlement in Arizona prevented the court from ordering a plan that increased prison staffing.

Why mental health needs for inmates in Arizona should be considered

Judge says mental health needs should be considered in prisons

The appeals court ruled a lower court has the power to order prison officials to develop a general staffing plan that benefits mentally ill inmates, reported KTAR News.

An Associated Press report noted U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver said an agreement reached four years ago could be thrown out for non-compliance.

Attorneys representing mentally ill inmates say the lack of healthcare workers at 10 state-run prisons is one of the most significant obstacles to meeting the needs of inmates.

The recent ruling clarifies the settlement in a 2012 lawsuit. Advocates for the inmates said Arizona’s state-run prisons fail to meet basic requirements for providing proper mental health care and other health services. Some inmates complained serious conditions like cancer went undetected and there were even reports of inmates being told to pray for treatment.

The lawsuit was settled two years later. The state of Arizona did not acknowledge any wrongdoing.

Although the settlement in 2014 gave the court the power to enforce the agreement, it said the judiciary lacked the power to order a new prison building or the hiring of staff. However, Silver can tell prisons they need more staff to meet the needs of inmates with mental health issues, she concluded.

KTAR noted the new ruling means the court may issue a general staffing order for prisons. However, this does not require the state to hire a specific number or type of personnel to remedy any noncompliance with the prior settlement.

Inadequate staffing and the inability of prison staff to meet the needs of mentally ill inmates remains a problem in Arizona. At the Garcia Law Firm, we have decades of experience in helping the mentally ill in the criminal justice system. Call us at (602) 340-1999.

 

Posted in Mental Health | Tagged |

What Should you Do when a Mentally Ill person is in Crisis?

18February
2019

When a mentally ill person is in crisis, the scenario is traumatic for the whole family. The crisis may result in the arrest of your mentally ill family member but this is not always the case. A crisis can also lead to self-harm.

Certain actions by a family member can help diffuse a difficult situation. Here are some important strategies.

When a mentally ill person is in crisis

What to do when a mentally ill person is in crisis

1 Communicate clearly

Communication is essential in de-escalating a mental illness crisis. It’s important to give a mentally ill person in crisis your undivided attention. Don’t just listen. Use body language like eye contact to show you are comprehending the person with mental health issues. Talk slowly and remain calm. Therapists often seek to make suicidal clients “hold their story,” according to the National Alliance on Mental Health.

Therapist Larry Shushansky said:

 “In sessions with suicidal clients, I often try to ‘hold their story,’ because I know that there are very few people in someone’s life who a person can talk to about suicide. Sometimes, just listening can be immensely helpful.”

Give your loved one an opportunity to discuss how they feel. Don’t be afraid to raise difficult questions such as whether they feel suicidal.

You should not use an anxious tone or be judgmental about a loved one’s feelings or they will clam up. Be concerned and caring and let your loved one know how you feel about them.

2 Call for Help

If you are unsuccessful in helping your loved one in their mental health crisis, you should reach out for a professional. If you believe the situation is a life-threatening emergency, call 911. Tell the operator your loved one suffers from mental health issues and request an officer with training in crisis intervention.

Other useful resources include the National Suicide Prevention Line where a trained crisis professional will talk to your family member. You can call 800-273-TALK (8255).

The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) also provides trained crisis counselors. Text NAMI to 741-741.

You can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673).

3 Know the Signs

It can be difficult and intimidating to deal with someone who suffers a mental health crisis. If you are aware your relative suffers from mental health problems, you should learn about the potential signs of an impending problem.

Look out for deteriorations in your loved one’s behavior such as an inability to perform daily tasks like dressing, washing and cleaning their teeth.

Other signs a relative is heading for a crash include mood swings, pacing, agitation, aggressive behavior, and destructive behavior. A person heading for a crash may resort to substance abuse or self-harm such as cutting.

Paranoia and losing touch with reality are other signs of an approaching crisis.

If you have a family member or a close friend with a mental health condition, it’s vital to have a network of support you can call on 24-7 in the cases of a crisis.

If your loved one ends up being arrested, it’s important to be in contact with an Arizona attorney who helps defendants with mental health issues. Please contact Garcia Law as soon as possible at (602) 340-1999.

 

 

Posted in Mental Health | Tagged |

How Often is the Insanity Defense Used?

14February
2019

The insanity defense has been used in some high profile cases. However, it is used sparingly in Arizona and elsewhere in the United States.

According to a PBS report, the insanity defense is used in just 1 percent of felony cases and it is successful in less than a quarter of the cases it is used in. The figures are derived from an eight-state study commissioned by the National Institute of Mental Health in 1991.

Although high-profile cases like those of serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy highlighted insanity defenses, in reality, they are seldom used. You should hire a lawyer who is specialized in these difficult cases involving mental health.

The insanity defense was first developed in 16th Century England. It was codified in the M’Naghten Rule in the 19th Century.

Use of the insanity defense in Arizona

When the insanity defense is used in Arizona

In that case, a court ruled a “disease of the mind” meant the defendant failed to understand what he did was wrong and was unable to distinguish the difference between right and wrong.

Most states use a variation of the rule. Arizona has a guilty except insane defense. The burden to prove insanity is on the defense.

Many states amended their insanity laws in 1982 when John Hinckley was acquitted of the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan on basis of insanity. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington. Hinckley was released in 2016. He must live within a 75-mile radius of Williamsburg, Virginia where his mother resides. He must maintain contact with his doctors twice a month while continuing ongoing group and individual therapy sessions, reported CNN.

In the aftermath of the Hinckley case, states started to require defense attorneys to show evidence that the defendant is insane, instead of the prosecutor. Four states – Kansas, Idaho, Montana, and Utah eliminated the insanity plea altogether.

Arizona has a strict interpretation of the insanity defense. The defendant is barred from presenting evidence of diminished mental capacity to negate the prosecution’s claims he acted with criminal intent.

In the case of Clark v. Arizona in 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 5-to-4 decision that Arizona was entitled to limit the use of evidence from experts about a defendant’s mental state to his insanity defense. A defendant is presumed to be sane until he proves otherwise. Justice Souter argued that allowing the accused to use insanity evidence to show that he could not form the necessary criminal intent would enable him to circumvent that presumption.

Arizona’s guilty except insane (GEI) defense is complicated and requires expert knowledge from a legal professional. Call Bernardo Garcia today if you or a family member has been arrested at (602) 340-1999.

Posted in Arizona Laws, Mental Health | Tagged |

Can You be Arrested for Homelessness? Phoenix Rethinks its Ban

11February
2019

Many homeless people end up in jails. Often they suffer from addictions and mental health issues. Their predicament is exacerbated by laws that criminalize homelessness. Although the authorities arrest homeless people in many parts of the state, some jurisdictions are rethinking their laws.

These include cities in the Phoenix area. Recently, AZCentral reported cities in the area are looking again at whether they can legally arrest someone for sleeping on the streets.

In the fall, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled the city of Boise, Idaho, did not have the right to cite people in violation of its “urban camping” law.

Arrested for homelessnes

Arrested for homelessness in Arizona

The judges said the law is unconstitutional and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, AZCentral reported.

Many cities in Arizona have similar laws and are looking again at whether they can be enforced. The 9th Circuit rulings apply to western states including Arizona.

The report noted the city of Tempe has stopped enforcing its anti-homelessness law. Glendale has changed its law. The city of Surprise is also looking at changes. Phoenix is yet to amend its law.

However, the ruling has fundamental consequences for laws that target homeless people. The court concluded cities cannot cite homeless people if no alternative shelter is provided for them, Local governments cannot criminalize the homeless for sleeping outdoors on public property when they have no choice.

The AZCentral report points out shelter accommodation is limited in the Valley area. The main emergency shelter in Phoenix often reaches capacity and people are turned away. Over 1,000 people regularly sleep on the streets in Phoenix.

Arrested for Homelessness – What Are Your Rights?

The ACLU has published a guide to the rights of homeless people in Phoenix. The guide says homeless people should not resist arrest even if they believe it is unfair. They have a right to remain silent and ask to see a lawyer immediately. People arrested for homelessness have a right to make a local phone call that is not overheard by the police.

You do not commit a trespassing offense if you enter non-residential private property that lacks a fence of a “no trespassing” sign.

Homelessness has been outlawed in Phoenix since 2004 under an ordinance that attracted criticism due to its vagueness.

People who are arrested for being homeless should consult a Phoenix area criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call us today at (602) 340-1999.

Posted in Arizona Laws | Tagged |

How to Prove My Mental Illness

7February
2019

Do you suffer from a mental illness and committed a crime? With the help of a defense attorney, you can plead guilty except insane in the state of Arizona. However, how do you prove your mental illness in court?

What Types of Mental Illness are Recognized?

A diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or any axis 1 disorders, which include PTSD and depression is required to plead guilty except insane. You have the ability to plead guilty except insane for a variety of crimes ranging from misdemeanors to felony charges such as arson, robbery and assault. With the help of a criminal defense attorney that specializes in mental illness, you could get charges dropped, a reduced sentenced or an alternatives to jail like a mental health hospital or therapy.

Proving Mental Illness

Different defense strategies are used by Garcia Law, but their main focus is always on you and proving your mental illness. To do this, you must see a licensed psychiatrist or mental health expert to conduct tests and evaluations. Their findings will be presented in court along with all of your medical records. Any documents that show you have undergone treatment like therapy or medications for a mental illness will help your case. The most important aspect of proving your mental illness is the diagnosis from an experienced mental health expert. You may have to see an expert that is chosen by the courts, but as long as you willingly undergo all of the needed evaluations, you should be able to successfully prove your mental illness.

Garcia Law

With more than 25 years of experience, Garcia Law offers seasoned professionals that fully communicate with their clients. They know their clients’ rights and options, always making them feel like they are on their side. From a wide range of legal issues from felonies to misdemeanors, Garcia Law has the proper education and knowledge to fight for you. Just because you have a mental illness, doesn’t mean you should be silenced. Garcia Law will fight to ensure that you receive a fair case and punishment.

Posted in Mental Health Defenses |

Can Someone with a Mental Illness be Charged with a Sex Crime?

6February
2019

The judicial system treats sex crimes very seriously in Arizona. Many are charged as felonies and entail long prison sentences for the accused. Mental illness is no defense to a sex crime and many people who are accused of sexual assaults suffer from psychiatric problems.

The criminal justice system often negates the role of mental health problems in sex crimes. The three elements needed for a conviction are sexual contact, lack of victim consent and knowing behavior. People with severe psychological problems may not know how they are behaving.

Arizona sex crime

Sex crimes in Arizona

Arizona has a guilty except insane defense. The burden to prove insanity and that the defendant did not know a sexual offense was wrong is on the defense. It can be very difficult to prove.

Even after a mentally ill prisoner is released from incarceration after serving time for a sexual offense, he or she will face monitoring

Over the last two decades, we have seen a proliferation of laws requiring sex offenders to register with local and state criminal justice agencies. This can lead to the civil commitment of sexual offenders when they are released from prison.

A series of factors determine whether a sex crime is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Most sex crimes in Arizona fall into two categories; crimes against adults and against children. The age of the victim has a drastic effect on the sentence imposed.

In many alleged sex crime cases against a child, prosecutors file an allegation that the crime was a “Dangerous Crime Against Children (DCAC)” under A.R.S.§ 13-705.

People charged with dangerous crimes against children face long prison sentences and are not usually eligible for any form of early release, irrespective of whether or not they suffer from mental illnesses.

Sex crimes committed against minors are charged as felonies. Molestation of a child is a Class 2 felony with a mandatory minimum term of 10 years. An aggravated molestation charge can land the offender in prison for 24 years.

Possession of child pornography is also a Class 2 felony with a sentencing range from 10 to 24 years.

The sentence for sexual conduct with a minor is linked to the age of the child. Sexual conduct by an adult with a child under 12 is a Class 2 felony that carries a term of life in prison. The defendant must serve at least 35 years under Arizona law.

People accused of sexual conduct with children aged 12, 13, or 14 face a minimum prison sentence of 13 years and a maximum of 27 years. The offense is also a Class 2 felony.

If the victim is aged 15 to 18, the accused faces a Class 6 felony carrying a prison term of 0.33 years and a maximum of two years.

The crime Sexual Abuse (A.R.S. 13-1404) is brought when a defendant, “intentionally or knowingly engages in sexual contact with any person who is 15 or more” without the consent of that person or with any person who is under the age of 15 if the sexual contact is limited to only the female breast.

When the victim is under the age of 18, the court will not accept consent as a defense. The sentence is brought as Class 5 felony if the victim is over 15 years of age. However, the offense becomes a class 3 felony when the victim is under 15.

While many sexual offenses are charged as felonies, lesser offenses like indecent exposure are punishable as a class 1 misdemeanor or a class 6 felony. On occasions, a drunken prank or a misguided idea like swimming in a river naked can lead to an indecent exposure charge.

Public sexual indecency is usually charged as a class 1 misdemeanor. However, if the victim is a minor under the age of 15 years, the offense is elevated to a class 5 felony. A class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious misdemeanor offense in the state. It is punishable by up to 6 months jail time and 3 years of probation.

If you or a family member has been charged with a sex crime in Arizona, you should take the matter very seriously. Please call our criminal defense lawyer for a consultation at (602) 340-1999.

Posted in Sex Crimes | Tagged |

How does Maricopa County Jail House Mentally Ill Inmates?

5February
2019

Conditions for mentally ill inmates are grim in many jails across the country. However, jails in Maricopa County have been singled out for criticism in recent years.

Writing in Arizona Capitol Times in 2018, Eric Balaban, a senior staff counsel with the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, described terrible conditions for mentally ill inmates held in Maricopa County Jail’s Special Management Unit.

How does Maricopa County jail mentally ill inmates?

How Maricopa County jails mentally ill inmates

He wrote about naked men covered in filth and blocked up toilets and said the unit in downtown Phoenix was the worst he had ever seen in 23 years of visiting jails and prisons across the nation.

The reports from Maricopa County are extremely concerning for the family members of those housed in such unsanitary conditions.

The conditions are tough both mentally and physically. The article pointed out SMU was designed to remove prisoners from human contact. Inmates are left alone at least 22 hours daily in windowless cells as small as parking spaces. Balaban wrote the only sounds in the unit are the screaming of acutely mentally ill prisoners. They are only allowed outside one hour on weekdays, which they spend in a cage.

The Capitol Times article called for an ending to the locking up of severely mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement.

While SMU was built for extremely dangerous prisoners who could not be managed elsewhere, Balaban argued it has become a place where the mentally ill are indiscriminately dumped in horrific conditions.

Many of the behaviors that land inmates in SMU are consistent with untreated mental illness such as refusing orders or repeated outbursts of anger.

When the controversial Sheriff Joseph Arpaio ran jails in Maricopa County, prisoners ended up here for cutting themselves and spreading blood on the walls of their cells or for other minor offenses.

The rapid deterioration of inmates with mental illness in solitary confinement is well documented. The American Civil Liberties Union warns solitary confinement exacerbates mental health problems.

Balaban is a senior staff counsel with the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. The NPP has filed a lawsuit challenging mental health services and the provision of medical services to pretrial detainees in Maricopa County, a system with 8,200 jail beds.

In 2014, a federal judge held that the defendants in the case, the county’s sheriff and supervisors, failed to comply with a former judgment or the constitution in providing adequate mental help and health care.

The court heard the high turnover of inmates and short-stay nature of much of the jail population complicated the provision of mental health services and medical provision. However, the defendants failed to implement the prior judgment for more than half a decade. They then filed a motion to dismiss it.

The court found Maricopa County failed to show that all pretrial detainees were seen by a medical provider within 24 hours of arrival in jail or properly transferred to an appropriate medical facility in time.

The inadequate treatment of mentally ill prisoners in the jails of Maricopa County remains a grave cause for concern. If you or a family member has been arrested and you have mental health issues, please contact our Arizona criminal defense lawyer today at (602) 340-1999.

 

Posted in Mental Health | Tagged |

What Does Guilty Except Insane Mean in Arizona?

4February
2019

Have you been charged with a crime and looking to plead guilty except insane? Before entering in your plea, there are things to know. A mentally ill defense requires strong proof that at the time of the criminal act, the mental disorder was so severe, that you didn’t fully understand that the criminal act was wrong.

In the state of Arizona, a mentally ill plea is known as guilty except insane. When entering this plea, you must undergo a guilty except insane evaluation by a psychologist who will then give a diagnosis to the court. A credible doctor must be used and must bring forth evidence to prove any of their findings. Any case that contains a guilty except insane plea is a difficult case, but an experienced mental health attorney has the skills and knowledge to defend the mentally ill and fight for fair punishment and treatment.

Keep in mind that the insanity defense in Arizona must not result from intoxication, psychosexual disorders, impulse control disorder, momentary or temporary disorders along with acts of anger, jealousy, or rage. There must be clear and convincing evidence that the court determines appropriate that proves you were suffering from a mental disease at the time. In the end, this will help get you a much more fair sentence.

However, cases that involve threats, actual serious harm, or death will be handled a little differently. If the court finds that there is a reasonable basis for guilty except insane, you must undergo a mental health expert evaluation or be placed in a mental health facility for 30 days. You will usually end up serving the same amount of time you would in jail, only you will be serving time in a mental health facility to receive treatment. If the case does NOT involve threats, actual serious harm, or death, if you have been found guilty except insane, you will spend 75 days in a state institution and then have a hearing to either be released or ordered to serve more time in the institution.

An experienced litigator should be used to guide you through the process of entering the plea of guilty except insane as it is not an easy case to be involved in. The legal team at Garcia Law always takes the time to listen to your concerns and fight for your constitutional rights. The goal is for every mentally ill client to receive fair punishment and treatment.

 

Posted in Mental Health Defenses |