insanity defense
n.
A defense to criminal prosecution based on the claim that the defendant cannot be guilty because he or she lacked the ability to behave correctly and the capacity to understand that his or her act was criminal.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


insanity defense
The claim of a defendant in a criminal prosecution that he or she was insane when the crime was committed, and therefore should not be held accountable. (See also: diminished capacity, McNaghten Rule)
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


insanity defense
n. A defendant's assertion that a mental disorder excuses the defendant from legal responsibility for a crime.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.


insanity defense
A defense asserted by an accused in a criminal prosecution to avoid liability for the commission of a crime because, at the time of the crime, the person did not appreciate the nature or quality or wrongfulness of the acts.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


insanity defense
A defense asserted by an accused in a criminal prosecution to avoid liability for the commission of a crime because, at the time of the crime, the person did not appreciate the nature or quality or wrongfulness of the acts.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

insanity defense
n.
   the claim of a defendant in a criminal prosecution that he/she was insane when the crime was committed, usually only temporarily.
   See also: insanity, temporary insanity

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Insanity defense — For similar defences in Canada and Australia, see mental disorder defence …   Wikipedia

  • insanity defense — a legal concept that a person cannot be convicted of a crime if they lacked criminal responsibility by reason of insanity at the time of commission. See M Naghten rule and Durham rule, under rule, and American Law Institute Formulation, under… …   Medical dictionary

  • insanity — in·san·i·ty n 1: unsoundness of mind or lack of the ability to understand that prevents one from having the mental capacity required by law to enter into a particular relationship, status, or transaction or that releases one from criminal or… …   Law dictionary

  • defense — de·fense /di fens, dē ˌfens/ n 1: the act or action of defending see also self defense 2 a: the theory or ground that forms the basis for a defendant s opposition to an allegation in a complaint or to a charge in a charging instrument (as an… …   Law dictionary

  • Insanity — For other uses, see Insanity (disambiguation). Insane redirects here. For other uses, see Insane (disambiguation). Engraving of the eighth p …   Wikipedia

  • insanity — The term is a social and legal term rather than a medical one, and indicates a condition which renders the affected person unfit to enjoy liberty of action because of the unreliability of his behavior with concomitant danger to himself and others …   Black's law dictionary

  • insanity — The term is a social and legal term rather than a medical one, and indicates a condition which renders the affected person unfit to enjoy liberty of action because of the unreliability of his behavior with concomitant danger to himself and others …   Black's law dictionary

  • Defense of infancy — Criminal defenses …   Wikipedia

  • insanity — /in san i tee/, n., pl. insanities. 1. the condition of being insane; a derangement of the mind. 2. Law. such unsoundness of mind as affects legal responsibility or capacity. 3. Psychiatry. (formerly) psychosis. 4. extreme folly; senselessness;… …   Universalium

  • insanity — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ total ▪ temporary VERB + INSANITY ▪ plead ▪ At the murder trial, he pleaded insanity. ▪ feign …   Collocations dictionary

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