Recent research has suggested that nearly 10,000 people a year are wrongly convicted of serious crimes and that a leading cause of that issue is the inaccuracy of eyewitnesses to the crime in question. In addition, in 2012 it was announced that in the preceding 23 years, there were more than 2000 false convictions courts that had been overturned. In the United States, each person is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty, but unfortunately that system has been known to occasionally fail innocent people. Therefore, it will behoove you to be aware of the following information as to how a forensic psychiatrist may be able to assist in your legal battle, when you are innocent of the crime you have been accused of or if you were unable to make decisions at the time due to your impaired mental status.
Defining Your Mental Status At The Time Of The Crime
It is important to note that while many people have heard of a criminal defense including the insanity plea or similar ones that involve the accused being not guilty due to mental disease or defect, successfully submitting pleas of that type to the court for the entirety of the case is rare. As a result, you are likely to find that doing so is often met with skepticism and the testimony of a forensic psychiatrist is necessary in order to prove your mental status at the time the crime was committed.
Similarly the forensic expert may also need to testify if your mental status was impaired at the time of the crime and you have since recovered. Since there are at least 51 different types of insanity pleas that can be submitted to the court, expert testimony from a respected witness can play an essential role in the decisions rendered by the court or jury.
A Forensic Psychiatrist Could Testify Against Facts Provided by Other Mental Health Experts
In court, opinions do not matter and facts only count when they can be verified. One example can be seen if you were to regretfully admit that you committed a crime. If part of the defense associated with that plea is that the behavior in question was a one-time occurrence due to a mental defect like temporary insanity that is unlikely to be repeated, verifying that plea is crucial. Otherwise, the best defense might not be able to keep you out of jail.
In that instance, the person with the best credentials and most experience with that type of situation is often the person most likely to be believed. You would obviously benefit from your expert witness who is willing to swear under oath that you are not expected to be a danger to yourself or other again, as it could inspire doubt as to the veracity of similar witnesses testifying otherwise that are working for the prosecution.
In conclusion, a forensic psychiatrist like San Francisco Psychiatric can assist with criminal defense cases in a myriad of ways,including testifying as an expert witness to your mental status at the time of the crime and your current mental health. He or she may also be able to counter any testimony, if warranted and appropriate to the situation, that other mental health professionals have provided that works against your case. As a result, it is imperative for you to have a clear understanding of the facts shared above when your freedom is at stake due to criminal charges.