Jul 31, 2019 by Foresight

The Role of a Psychiatry Expert Witness in Crimes Involving Substance Abuse or Violence

Mental illness is an incredibly complicated subject with plenty of connotations and consequences. The UK has made great progress in not only recognising the prevalence of these issues in so many, but also actively encouraging those afflicted to involve themselves in programmes with the aim of bettering their mental health. As a societal issue it is crucial that these conditions are taken into account in the courtroom to allow for a fair trial. In this scenario a psychiatry expert witness is the authority. By assessing and analysing the current and previous mental disposition of the accused, a psychiatry expert witness can ensure that they are sentenced accordingly or affect the type of sentencing to better reflect the mens rea of the crime.

Substance Abuse and Violence in Crimes

In the case of a crime which has been driven by violence or substance abuse it is essential that the mental health of the accused is assessed by a psychiatry expert witness.
Crimes fuelled by these factors often aren’t as black and white as they may first appear. For example, if somebody prone to violent acts is also suffering with mental illness then the true root of their violent acts must be discovered. The same applies to a substance abuser; if the cause of their drug or alcohol addiction which fuelled their crime is founded in their psyche then this too must be considered. Ascertaining these key roots of issues is essential to understanding the mens rea of crimes committed. Indeed, the degree to which the accused was in control of their actions with a sound mind must be assessed and calculated. The existence and prevalence of mental health issues across the UK necessitates the role of psychiatry expert witnesses in the court room.

Ensuring a Fair Trial

What is abundantly clear from the aforementioned information is that in criminal defence cases it is essential to assure that the mental wellbeing of the accused is taken into account when being sentenced, as to fairly reflect the cause of the incriminating event.

A psychiatric expert witness assures that a fair trial ensues. In the case of a misdiagnosis, or even a missed diagnosis, of a person’s mental health, their sentence may not accurately reflect the severity of the crime with specific regard to mens rea. If the court fails to recognise or be informed of a mental illness then the circumstances following will likely be detrimental upon the incriminated party in their sentencing. When a psychiatry expert witness is instructed then these circumstances are circumvented entirely. Their expertise allows them to provide an accurate diagnosis of a mental health issue or a disorder. By understanding the psyche of the accused a psychiatry expert witness may be able to decipher the thought process behind the incriminating event which took place, adding clarity to the case. Furthermore, through assessment the psychiatric expert witness may be able to judge the blameworthiness of the accused, with thought as to their ability to control their own behaviour.

Instructing a Psychiatry Expert Witness through Foresight

If you are looking for a psychiatry expert witness for your case Foresight offers a streamlined solution to your problem. Our dedicated case managers will supply you with the CVs of the most relevant and reputable psychiatry expert witnesses for your case. Our experts are court-ready and able to immediately help with your case. No matter your deadline we can ensure that you receive a comprehensive and accessible psychiatry report when you need it. If you are looking to arrange a psychiatry expert witness for your case, quickly and efficiently, then get in touch today.



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