Insanity Defenses in New Jersey Criminal Cases
Passaic County NJ Insanity Defense Lawyer
Criminal defense attorney Alissa D. Hascup represents clients throughout New Jersey, including in Paterson, Passaic, Totowa, Wayne, and Clifton, who have been charged with criminal offenses such as criminal restraint, stalking, robbery, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Ms. Hascup has successfully handled countless cases in New Jersey, in Superior Court (indictable/felony level offenses) and Municipal Court (disorderly persons/misdemeanor level offenses). She is a former domestic violence prosecutor and special deputy attorney general. During the course of her career with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, she handled cases ranging from Homicide (murder) and aggravated assault to robbery and weapons offenses. Ms. Hascup has handled a number of cases in which various defenses, including the defense of insanity, were raised at the time of trial. Now she is fighting for you.
Ms. Hascup is a battle-tested criminal defense lawyer who will attack the criminal charges against you and put you in a position to achieve the best possible result. She understand that certain criminal incidents are the result of mental diseases, including insanity. In such cases, she will act quickly and effectively to ensure that any defense is preserved. Contact her office anytime for an initial consultation, which is always provided free of charge.
Defense of Insanity in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:4-1
Defenses – Insanity. N.J.S.A. 2C:4-1 provides:
A person is not criminally responsible for conduct if at the time of such conduct he was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing, or if he did know it, that he did not know what he was doing was wrong. Insanity is an affirmative defense which must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence.
The Code adopts the traditional formulation of the M’Naghten Rule of Insanity, including its applicability when an actor “did not now what he was doing was wrong.”
Note that the burden of proving the insanity defense by a “preponderance of the evidence” on the defendant.
Also note that the insanity defense invites only 3 verdicts: guilty, not guilty, and not guilty by reason of insanity. See State v. Breakiron, 108 N.J. 591, 600-601 (1987). In other words, if insanity is proved, it will not reduce the level of a defendant’s culpability. Rather, it will totally excuse the actor or will be totally ineffective. However, a defense who produces evidence of a mental disease or defect is entitled to have the jury charged that such evidence may be considered either with respect to an insanity defense or as negating a required state of mind. Id. at 621.
Contact a Totowa NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer for Answers
Alissa D. Hascup knows the nuances of New Jersey criminal defense law and is committed to putting her experience and knowledge to work for you. If you find yourself in a situation in which you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense, and believe insanity may be a defense, Ms. Hascup can help. To discuss your case, call her Paterson, NJ office or contact her online to request your free initial consultation.