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Illinois Criminal Code of 1961

Article 6 - Illinois Criminal Responsibility Rules

In some situations, a person is not criminally responsible for his or her actions. For example, many people are aware that a plea of insanity can be used to avoid criminal prosecution.

Article 6 of the Illinois Criminal Code lists this well-known exception to criminal responsibility and others. It addresses various situations regarding criminal responsibility. Notably, anyone under the age of 13, the criminally insane, and those who are involuntarily intoxicated or drugged cannot be found guilty of a crime.

If you've been arrested or charged with a crime in Cook County, Will County, DuPage County, McHenry County, Kane County or Lake County, call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.

The text below comes from Article 6 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 - Article 6

Sec. 6-1. Infancy.
    (720 ILCS 5/6-1)

No person shall be convicted of any offense unless he had attained his 13th birthday at the time the offense was committed. (Source: Laws 1961, p. 1983.)

Sec. 6-2. Insanity.
    (720 ILCS 5/6-2)

(a) A person is not criminally responsible for conduct if at the time of such conduct, as a result of mental disease or mental defect, he lacks substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of his conduct.

(b) The terms "mental disease or mental defect" do not include an abnormality manifested only by repeated criminal or otherwise antisocial conduct.

(c) A person who, at the time of the commission of a criminal offense, was not insane but was suffering from a mental illness, is not relieved of criminal responsibility for his conduct and may be found guilty but mentally ill.

(d) For purposes of this Section, "mental illness" or "mentally ill" means a substantial disorder of thought, mood, or behavior which afflicted a person at the time of the commission of the offense and which impaired that person's judgment, but not to the extent that he is unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his behavior.

(e) When the defense of insanity has been presented during the trial, the burden of proof is on the defendant to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity. However, the burden of proof remains on the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of each of the offenses charged, and, in a jury trial where the insanity defense has been presented, the jury must be instructed that it may not consider whether the defendant has met his burden of proving that he is not guilty by reason of insanity until and unless it has first determined that the State has proven the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the offense with which he is charged. (Source: P.A. 89-404, eff. 8-20-95; 90-593, eff. 6-19-98.)

Sec. 6-3. Intoxicated or drugged condition.
    (720 ILCS 5/6-3)

A person who is in an intoxicated or drugged condition is criminally responsible for conduct unless such condition is involuntarily produced and deprives him of substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law. (Source: P.A. 92-466, eff. 1-1-02.)

Sec. 6-4. Affirmative Defense.
    (720 ILCS 5/6-4)

A defense based upon any of the provisions of Article 6 is an affirmative defense except that mental illness is not an affirmative defense, but an alternative plea or finding that may be accepted, under appropriate evidence, when the affirmative defense of insanity is raised or the plea of guilty but mentally ill is made. (Source: P.A. 82-553.)

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DISCLAIMER: These excerpts from the law are provided for reference purposes only. Visitors to our Chicago criminal defense lawyer website should be aware that Illinois criminal laws have been amended many times and that Illinois crime laws posted on this site may not be current. In addition, Illinois criminal case law defines precedents for legal determinations that are not defined in the original laws.

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