What Doesn’t Apply
Pleading guilty except insane is designed to help those who suffer from a mental illness at the time the crime was committed. It does not apply to individuals who suffered from a short-term mental health issue as the result of intoxication or another impairment that is due to their own actions, including withdrawal from drugs or alcohol, psychosexual disorders, impulse control disorders or defects in their character. It also doesn’t include temporary conditions, such as fits of jealousy, hatred, anger, passion, moral decadence or other similar circumstances. In these situations, the individual is not deemed to have a mental defect and therefore can’t make this plea.
An Insanity Plea Doesn’t Equal No Consequences
Some individuals are under the false impression pleading guilty except insane is an easy way out. It likely means no jail time and can greatly reduce the consequences of the actions. However, this doesn’t mean the court can’t still issue a sentence that better fits the kind of circumstances an individual suffering from a mental issue would require. For instance, in situations where an individual was seriously hurt or killed or there was a threat of this nature, if the defendant is found by the court to suffer from a qualifying mental illness or defect, they can be sentenced to time in a state mental health facility instead. This means the individual won’t go free, but instead of going to jail, they will have access to the mental health care they need to get better. At this time, experts in the field will evaluate the individual and make recommendations regarding their future. Unless the defendant is deemed indigent by the court, they are expected to pay for this evaluation. In some situations, an independent expert may be used, rather than a state facility, and the same rules apply.