In the criminal law context, automatism refers to a defense that can be raised by a defendant who was not in control of their actions at the time the crime was committed. Automatism can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a medical condition, sleepwalking, or the involuntary intake of drugs or alcohol.
The defense of automatism is based on the idea that a person cannot be held legally responsible for their actions if they were not aware of what they were doing at the time the crime was committed. In order to successfully raise the defense of automatism, the defendant must be able to show that they were not in control of their actions due to an external factor, and that they did not have the necessary mental state (such as intent or knowledge) to commit the crime.
[ Glossary ]