Diminished Capacity and Insanity

Diminished Capacity

Sometimes a person has a mental health issue that makes them not able to form the intent to commit a crime. A successful diminished capacity defense may not mean a person is not convicted of a crime, but that they are convicted of a less serious crime. Building a successful diminished capacity defense requires a strong understanding of how the human mind is affected by external things. Communicating the impact of those external forces to the prosecutor or the jury is critical.


To establish the defense of insanity an attorney must prove that a person suffered from a mental disease or defect so severe that they were unable to perceive the nature and quality of the act or unable to tell right from wrong. If successful, the insanity defense will result in an acquittal.