Former Firefighter Charged with Burglary, Assault

A former Virginia firefighter has been charged with burglary and assault after breaking into a neighbor’s house. He reportedly called police to turn himself in after breaking into a neighbor’s home to look for bombs. None were found, and he was taken to a facility for a mental health evaluation. While there, he allegedly punched a female worker in the mouth. This firefighter had dealt with bipolar disorder in the past, and it is believed that these alleged actions may have been caused by this disorder. A Fairfax criminal attorney may try to raise an insanity defense in order to defend this client.

Fairfax Criminal Attorney on Pleading Insanity

While not as common as movies or TV may make it seem, it is still possible in Virginia to raise an insanity defense. A Fairfax criminal attorney will need to raise this affirmative defense at trial and notify the prosecuting attorney of such intent. They will then need to find a neutral mental health expert in order to perform an evaluation to determine the defendant’s state of mind when committing the crime. This expert can be a:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Person with a doctorate degree in clinical psychology with experience in forensic evaluation training

Although this defense is available to defendants, it is rarely pursued. This is because, with the burden of proof on the defendant, it can be difficult to prove the case. And if successful, the defendant will then be committed to a mental institution instead of leaving a free man.

While not common, it is important to find a Fairfax criminal attorney who will work to find any viable defense for your particular charges. At The Law Office of Wilfred Ward Yeargan, we will leave no stone unturned in finding a viable defense theory, giving you the best possible chance at a positive outcome.

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