Defense Attorneys At The Forefront Of Mental Health Issues
Biology, psychology, and sociology have made many advances in the last half century. However, the law has not kept pace. Mental health has long been ignored, both in the law and our society, and this is one of the greatest tragedies of the criminal justice system in Louisiana and throughout the United States.
Until recently, many criminal defense attorneys — and many prosecutors and judges — believed that questions of mental health had no bearing on your case. Either you committed the crime and were guilty, or you did not and were innocent. Outdated standards, such as the McNaughten Rule — devised in the 1840s — still apply legally to this day.
At Longman Jakuback, part of our mission is to show the importance of mental health issues in the context of criminal defense. Our attorneys have extensive experience in explaining these matters to judges, juries, and prosecutors in a way that makes sense to them. That is how we secure favorable outcomes for our clients.
How We Can Help
While some of the outdated thinking with regard to mental health still persists in the criminal justice system, that is thankfully no longer always the case. Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Depression, Anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder can and do influence the actions of individuals by rewiring their brains and causing chemical imbalances. To believe that these things do not influence an individual’s circumstances and actions is to remain willfully ignorant.
There are ways to present mental health evidence to the judge, jury, and prosecutors. This is called “mitigation,” and having an experienced attorney who knows how to handle cases where mitigation is possible, and knows the procedural vehicles necessary to utilize it, is essential for a successful resolution of your case.
At Longman Jakuback, we have years of experience in matters of mental health within the context of the criminal justice system. Knowing how to approach mitigation in misdemeanor and felony cases takes skill and swift action. Among other uses, mitigation can be used as evidence of extenuating circumstances presented to the court to secure a reduced sentence.
Our entire team has experience helping individuals who have cases that present with mental health complications as mitigation. Contact us as soon as possible for more information on how our office can craft unique defenses and investigation plans to incorporate considerations of mental health into your defense or the defense of one of your loved ones.