I am pleased to announce that I am now affiliated with the Criminal Practice Group of Einhorn, Barbarito, Frost & Botwinick, P.C.

Mental Disease or Defect Defense in New Jersey Criminal Cases

Passaic County NJ Criminal Lawyer

Experienced criminal defense lawyer Alissa D. Hascup represents clients throughout New Jersey, including Paterson, Clifton, Belleville, and Wayne, who have been charged with offenses such as endangering the welfare of a child, stalking, and criminal sexual contact. She has successfully handled thousands of cases in New Jersey, in Superior Court (indictable/felony level offenses) and Municipal Court (disorderly persons/misdemeanor level offenses).

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges and are suffering from a mental disease or defect, there may be a valid defense to be raised. In such cases, Ms. Hascup understands the importance of acting quickly and efficiently to ensure that the defense is preserved and the charges are handled appropriately. Contact Alissa D. Hascup anytime for an initial consultation, which is always provided free of charge.

Defense of Mental Disease or Defect in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:4-2

Defenses Evidence of Mental Disease or Defect Admissible When Relevant to Element of the Offense. N.J.S.A. 2C:4-2 provides:

Evidence that the defendant suffered from a mental disease or defect is admissible whenever it is relevant to prove that the defendant did not have a state of mind which is an element of the offense. In the absence of such evidence, it may be presumed that the defendant had no mental disease or defect which would negate a state of mind which is an element of the offense.

This section of our Code makes clear that, whether or not the insanity defense is raised, the defendant s mental state is always subject to scrutiny, this would be so because mens rea, as an element of nearly every offense, is a fact issue to be decided by a jury.

This section also concerns a wide range of mental conditions, so long as the condition is one that interferes with the formation of the mental state required for conviction of the offense. See State v. Galloway, 133 N.J. 631, 647 (1993).

Note that even if the mental disease or disorder does not entitle the defendant to a jury charge, it may still be raised as a Mitigating Factor at the time of sentencing.

Contact a Totowa NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer for a Free Initial Consultation

Alissa D. Hascup is a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the nuances of the law and the defenses that can be raised to fight certain charges. She will use her knowledge to your advantage.

If you find yourself in a situation where you or a loved one have been charged with a criminal offense as a result an incident wherein the actor was suffering from a mental disease or defect, there may be a valid defense or, at least, compelling mitigation. Call 862-257-1200 or fill out our convenient online contact form to request your free consultation with Ms. Hascup today.

Contact Us

If you are facing criminal charges in New Jersey, you want a battle-tested, aggressive criminal defense attorney on your side. Alissa D. Hascup will protect your rights and your freedom. She is highly skilled and incredibly motivated and puts clients first – always.

Please contact Ms. Hascup’s office today to request a free initial consultation about your criminal charges. She will review the facts of your case, answer your questions, and explain how she can best defend you.

Ms. Hascup can be reached 24/7. For your convenience, she offers night and weekend appointments, as well as virtual appointments.

Courts We Serve

In Passaic County, including Paterson, Clifton, Wayne, Passaic, West Milford, Hawthorne, Little Falls, Pompton Lakes, Ringwood, Woodland Park, Wanaque, Totowa, North Haledon, Haledon, Bloomingdale, and Prospect Park, in Morris County, including Morristown, Parsippany, Denville, Randolph, Rockaway, Madison, Boonton, Dover, East Hanover, Montville, Lincoln Park, Pequannock, Butler, and Riverdale, in Essex County, including Newark, East Orange, West Orange, South Orange, Irvington, Bloomfield, Montclair, Belleville, Nutley, Maplewood, Millburn, Verona, Cedar Grove, West Caldwell, Glen Ridge, Fairfield, and Roseland.


999 Riverview Drive

Totowa, NJ 07512

165 East Main Street

Denville, NJ 07834