There are times when defendants are proven difficult to be put on trial because they are mentally unstable. An entry in the legal resource states:

“What makes a crime a crime? In most cases, an act is a crime because the person committing it intended to do something that the state legislature or Congress has determined is wrong, also known as criminal intent. This mental state is generally referred to as “mens rea,” Latin for “guilty mind.”

The “mens rea” concept is based on a belief that people should be punished only when they have acted in a way that makes them morally blameworthy. In the legal system’s eyes, people who intentionally engage in the behavior prohibited by a law are morally blameworthy.”

The problem of insanity defense may be more or less familiar for Florida residents. Florida once observed the M’Naghten Rule, wherein the burden of proof lay on the state; however, the 2013 Florida Statute Title 46, Chapter 775-027, ruled that all persons are deemed sane until proven otherwise by the defense. When you are accused of a crime but need additional support to land a favorable decision on mental grounds, a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer such as Richard F. Della Fera will take your case.


Proving a defendant’s mental stability in alleged criminal offense needs further study. Negligence is one factor often pushed to prove lack of liability on the defendant’s part, but sometimes, they are forced to pay civil damages.


Things get dicier, however, when some offenses are covered by law. Some cases may involve the defendant committing a certain act but is unaware that the act is illegal. However, they can be held liable if they’ve known all along that the act was illegal yet they pushed ahead with it; the prosecution still has the burden of proof in showing the accused’s culpability. For an insanity defense to stick, Chapter 775-027 requires that the defendant was afflicted by a mental infirmity or illness, which will be backed up by clear and verifiable evidence; the proof may include psychological evaluations.


It can be hard to show the court that you were not in the right state of mind when a criminal offense is attributed to you. A reputable Ft. Lauderdale criminal lawyer such as Mr. Della Fera will help see your case through.


(Source: How Defendants’ Mental States Affect Their Responsibility for a Crime, NOLO)