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Schizophrenic brother is charged with misdemeanor sexual battery in California and I am worried about him?

San Jose, CA |

Doctors evaluated him and found out he is incompetent to stand trial, and they found out he is mentally ill---diagnosing with paranoid schizophrenia---so he is required to seek treatment in the mental health facility inside jail. Because sexual battery is serious, and it is possible he might register as sex offender---will having a mental illness bring down lesser charges, so that he wouldn't have to register as a sex offender? Can lawyers/public defenders be able to use insanity plea in this case? I'd be happy for my brother if he is not forced to become a sex offender.

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Attorney answers 4


If he is not competent to stand trial he will be placed in a state hospital until he is. An insanity may not work to reduce the charges as the legal definition of insanity is quite different from the medical diagnosis. He could have paranoid schizophrenia and still be aware of the nature and quality of his acts. That said this possible defense needs to be explored with doctors who work in the field of sexual disturbances.


This is far too complicated to adequately cover in a public forum. I would suggest meeting with several attorneys who offer free consults and see what you learn from there.

Good luck!

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California does not have a diminished capacity defense anymore. However, mental illness can negate the specific intent necessary for some crimes. You should discuss the particulars of your brother's case with a lawyer, face to face.

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You should consult with a local lawyer in a private setting to share additional facts regarding this matter. I would need to know if your brother has a prior record and the facts surrounding the misdemeanor charge to assess this case. In various types of battery cases, lesser included charges can be negotiated with good investigation and lawyering. However, lawyers cannot guarantee a better outcome when they take on representation.

This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.