diminished capacity | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminal Law

Diminished capacity is a legal defense that can be raised in a criminal case to argue that the accused did not have the mental capacity or ability to form the necessary intent to commit the crime.


Diminished capacity can be raised in cases where the accused has a mental illness, developmental disability, or other condition that affects their ability to understand the nature and consequences of their actions. If a defendant is successful in raising the defense of diminished capacity, it may result in a reduction in the charges or a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity. The specific rules and standards for the defense of diminished capacity vary by jurisdiction.


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Last Modified: 01/09/2023

 

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