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How can criminal psychology affect your defense?

Following a conviction, one of the most pressing matters that a court has is to determine how to punish a person who committed a crime. The likelihood of the individual to commit the crime again is one of the factors that generally comes into the picture. This isn’t always easy to gauge, so the court has to turn to a criminal psychologist to try to get a glimpse into the individual’s mental state before, during and after their crime.

A criminal psychologist is a professional who studies specific points relating to a person’s behaviors and mental state when they commit a crime. They look into the motivations that occur to commit the crime because criminal acts typically have a very specific motivation. Unmotivated crimes are almost nonexistent. 

What are some motivations for criminal acts?

There are many motivations that may lead to crimes. Some crimes, such as the theft of food items from a store, might be done out of necessity. Others can be because of anger, substance abuse, or mental health conditions. Finding out the motivation for committing a crime may help the court to adjust the sentence the person will face so that the sentence components reduce the chance of recidivism. 

The criminal psychologist won’t be the one who determines your sentence. Instead, they provide valuable information to the court. They may speak to you directly or simply review the information related to your case. Ultimately, what they say could help mitigate the sentence against you. 

Speak with your attorney about the possibility of a criminal psychologist working on your case if this is something that concerns you. Your attorney might able to shed some light on how the professional may impact the specifics of your case. The information might be useful in your defense strategy. It’s best to consider this early in the planning phase for your defense.