Dictionary of Law

M'Naughten rule :: legal definition

M'Naughten rule - n. a traditional "right and wrong" test of legal insanity in criminal prosecutions. Under M'Naughten (its name comes from the trial of a notorious English assassin in the early 1800s), a defendant is legally insane if he/she cannot distinguish between right and wrong in regard to the crime with which he/she is charged. If the judge or the jury finds that the accused could not tell the difference, then there could not be criminal intent. Considering modern psychiatry and psychology, tests for lack of capacity to "think straight" (with lots of high-priced expert testi-mony) are used in most states either under the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code or the "Durham Rule."

See also: diminished capacity insanity temporary insanity Twinkie defense and Related Law Terms ↓

Related Law Terms

arrest :: v. 1) to take or hold a suspected criminal with le ... anda warning probable cause warrant
attorney :: n. 1) an agent or someone authorized to act for an ... ialize. See also: court reciprocity
Bill of Rights :: n. the first ten amendments to the federal Constit ... ved to the states or to the people.
child custody :: n. a court's determination of which parent, relati ... pport custody divorce joint custody
civil :: adj. 1) that part of the law that encompasses busi ... also: civil liberties civil rights
common-law marriage :: n. an agreement between a man and woman to live to ... a marriage. See also: cohabitation
confess :: v. in criminal law, to voluntarily state that one ... Miranda warning self-incrimination
confession :: n. the statement of one charged with a crime that ... Miranda warning self-incrimination
confession of judgment :: n. a written agreement in which the defendant in a ... rms are fulfilled by the defendant.
diminished capacity :: n. essentially a psychological term which has foun ... See also: insanity M'Naughten rule
double jeopardy :: n. placing someone on trial a second time for an o ... that occurred thirty years earlier.
due process of law :: n. a fundamental principle of fairness in all lega ... procedural and substantive rights.
fraud :: n. the intentional use of deceit, a trick or some ... audulent conveyance intrinsic fraud
insanity :: n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a p ... M'Naughten rule temporary insanity
intoxication :: n. 1) the condition of being drunk as the result o ... r. See also: vehicular manslaughter
jump bail :: v. to fail to appear for a court appearance after ... also: bail bail bond bail bondsman
laches :: n. the legal doctrine that a legal right or claim ... , breach of contract, fraud, etc.).
legal separation :: n. a court-decreed right to live apart, with the r ... n is rarely used. See also: divorce
Miranda warning :: n. the requirement, also called the Miranda rule, ... me such a suspect? See also: rights
mitigating circumstances :: n. in criminal law, conditions or happenings which ... ity heat of passion Twinkie defense
no contest :: n. in criminal law, a defendant's plea in court th ... : nolo contendere plea plea bargain
not guilty by reason of insanity :: n. plea in court of a person charged with a crime ... fense not guilty temporary insanity
parole :: n. 1) the release of a convicted criminal defendan ... sed he will not take up arms again.
plea :: n. 1) in criminal law, the response by an accused ... raignment plead preliminary hearing
privilege against self incrimina-tion :: n. a right to refuse to testify against oneself in ... so: Bill of Rights taking the Fifth
procedure :: n. the methods and mechanics of the legal process. ... cases are tried and judgments made.
promissory note :: n. a written promise by a person (variously called ... lso: interest obligee obligor usury
retroactive :: adj. referring to a court's decision or a statute ... ospective." See also: ex post facto
roadside test :: n. a preliminary test law enforcement officers use ... g while intoxicated Miranda warning
self-executing :: adj. immediately effective without further action, ... party the right to try to collect.
temporary insanity :: n. in a criminal prosecution, a defense by the acc ... diminished capacity insanity intent
trial :: n. the examination of facts and law presided over ... at a hearing held at a later time.
unlawful detainer :: n. 1) keeping possession of real property without ... Thirty-day notice three-day notice

Popular Law Searches

legal definition ministerial act :: n. an act, particularly of a governmental employee ... exercising any individual judgment.
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forthwith legal definition :: adv. a term found in contracts, court orders and s ... mediacy, with no excuses for delay.
forthwith definition legal :: adv. a term found in contracts, court orders and s ... mediacy, with no excuses for delay.
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mirror wills legal definition :: n. the wills of a husband and wife which are ident ... d each names the other as executor.
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sine qua non only relates to contract law :: (see-nay kwah nahn) prep. Latin for "without which ... qua non of the injury to Playmate.

Other Law Terms - M

M. O. :: n. slang for modus operandi, the way or pattern in ... her crime. See also: modus operandi
magistrate :: n. 1) a generic term for any judge of a court, or ... ce of the peace preliminary hearing
Magna Carta :: n. Latin for "Great Charter," it was a document de ... s. It is also spelled Magna Charta.
mail box rule :: n. in contract law, making a written offer or acce ... nse in hand when the time runs out.
maim :: v. to inflict a serious bodily injury, including m ... to a prison term. See also: mayhem
majority :: n. 1) the age when a person can exercise all norma ... t. See also: child infancy minority
make :: v. 1) to create something. 2) to sign a check, pro ... xchange check maker promissory note
make one whole :: v. to pay or award damages sufficient to put the p ... fault of another. See also: damages
maker :: n. 1) the person who signs a check or promissory n ... : check payee payor promissory note
malfeasance :: n. intentionally doing something either legally or ... sponsibility. See also: misfeasance
malice :: n. a conscious, intentional wrongdoing either of a ... cution murder public figure slander
malice aforethought :: n. 1) the conscious intent to cause death or great ... : first degree murder malice murder
malicious prosecution :: n. filing a lawsuit with the intention of creating ... vor of the victim. See also: malice
malpractice :: n. An act or continuing conduct of a professional ... eed. See also: errors and omissions
malum in se :: (mal-uhm in say) adv. Latin referring to an act th ... hibitum. See also: malum prohibitum
malum prohibitum :: (mal-uhm prohibit-uhm) adj. Latin meaning "wrong d ... lso: malum in se white collar crime
mandamus :: (man-dame-us) n. Latin for "we order," a writ (mor ... mandamus. See also: writ of mandate
mandate :: n. 1) any mandatory order or requirement under sta ... See also: mandamus writ of mandate
mandatory :: adj., adv. absolutely demanded or required. ... v. absolutely demanded or required.
mandatory joinder :: n. the required inclusion of a party in a lawsuit ... sues in the case. See also: joinder