Criminal Defense Lawyers
People sometimes ask if Criminal Defense Lawyers are useful in every case? That is, are some cases just not worth hiring a lawyer for? The short answer is probably not.
Take for example the recent case of deranged murderer Austin Harrouff, from Florida State University. So far, the evidence in that case shows a young man who goes to a family dinner and walks home. A 911 call from his mother apparently reveals that he was speaking about delusional things such as being immortal and a super hero. He then stops to attack a couple in their garage and a neighbor comes to their aid. That neighbor is stabbed five times by Harrouff, but survives and calls 911. The police arrive to the home of the beating to find two dead victims and Harrouff eating pieces of the male face and stomach. The officer fires a Taser at him and deploys several shocks, in addition to the police dog. Eventually this stops Harrouff from eating the male victim. He is charged with two counts of murder, attempted murder, armed burglary and resisting arrest without violence.
Can a criminal defense lawyer help this man in the face of this evidence? After all, if the surviving victim and police officer show up to court as eye-witnesses, there’s obviously no way the charge of first degree murder will not be proven.
You might think that with this evidence, no one could get away with murder and a lawyer’s assistance would be marginal at best. But, based on testing at the hospital, there were also no signs of common drugs in Harrouff’s system. Therefore, it would appear, that we have an insane person on our hands. But just because the Defendant was insane at the time he committed the crime, that doesn’t mean he is necessarily insane at the time of trial. If this is the case, then an experienced criminal defense attorney will be critical to plead this defense. And, frightening as it may seem, Harrouff might be convicted of double homicide and sent to mental institution for some period of time – but not necessarily forever.
If a Defendant is found not guilty by reason of insanity, his mental illness can be such that he is deemed a danger to himself or others. This allows him to be committed involuntarily and the reality is that his commitment could last longer than any prison sentence. But the other reality is that he could be released if he is no longer insane. Contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers to day to determine if you have a defense.