What is the brain defense?

What is the brain defense?

| Oct 27, 2020 | Criminal Law |

When you face criminal charges, it is essential to formulate your defense and find a way to combat the claims made by the defense. In some cases, it is impossible to prove you did not do the crime, but your defense in this type of situation could still help you to avoid a harsh sentence.

One option is the brain defense. According to the History News Network, the brain defense is a claim that due to brain injury you are not responsible for your actions because you do not understand them and cannot control them.

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The brain defense comes into play in cases where a defendant has a history of brain injuries, such as professional football players. The claim is that multiple head injuries or even a severe brain injury can cause damage that will spark violent or criminal behavior. These injuries take away your ability to understand what you are doing is wrong or to understand the impact of your actions.

This defense is starting to become more common, especially in violent crime cases. It can open the door to leniency in sentencing.


You could potentially use the brain defense if you were entering an insanity plea. You may also use it during your trial or during sentencing to try to get a lighter sentence. You will likely need to find medical experts who will study your brain and its functions to provide testimony on brain science in your case.

You should note that this defense will not likely result in the court finding you not guilty. Essentially, when you use it, you admit that you did the crime, so you will have to face the consequences. However, the aim of this defense is to reduce your sentence and potentially get you medical care or help to prevent such actions in the future.