automatism

automatism

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.


automatism
An involuntary act such as sleepwalking that is performed in a state of unconsciousness.
The subject does not act voluntarily and is not fully aware of his or her actions while in a state of automatism. Automatism has been used as a defense to show that a defendant lacked the requisite mental state for the commission of a crime. A defense based on automatism asserts that there was no act in the legal sense because at the time of the alleged crime, the defendant had no psychic awareness or volition. Some American jurisdictions have recognized automatism as a complete, affirmative defense to most criminal charges. An insanity defense, by comparison, asserts that the accused possessed psychic awareness or volition, but at the time of the offense, the accused possessed a mental disorder or defect that caused them to commit the offense or prevented them from understanding the wrongness of the offense.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


automatism
An involuntary act such as sleepwalking that is performed in a state of unconsciousness.
 
The subject does not act voluntarily and is not fully aware of his or her actions while in a state of automatism. Automatism has been used as a defense to show that a defendant lacked the requisite mental state for the commission of a crime. A defense based on automatism asserts that there was no act in the legal sense because at the time of the alleged crime, the defendant had no psychic awareness or volition. Some American jurisdictions have recognized automatism as a complete, affirmative defense to most criminal charges. An insanity defense, by comparison, asserts that the accused possessed psychic awareness or volition, but at the time of the offense, the accused possessed a mental disorder or defect that caused them to commit the offense or prevented them from understanding the wrongness of the offense.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Automatism — may refer to:*Automatic behavior, spontaneous verbal or motor behavior; an act performed unconsciously. Defendants have been found innocent due to an automatism defense (e.g., homicide while sleepwalking). *Automatism (law), a defence to… …   Wikipedia

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  • Automatism — Au*tom a*tism, n. The state or quality of being automatic; the power of self moving; automatic, mechanical, or involuntary action. Specifically: (Metaph.) A theory as to the activity of matter. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • automatism — [ô täm′ə tiz΄əm] n. [ AUTOMAT(IC) + ISM] 1. the quality or condition of being automatic 2. automatic action 3. Philos. the theory that the human or animal body is a machine governed by physical laws and that consciousness does not control but… …   English World dictionary

  • automatism —    The term automatisme was introduced in or shortly before 1846 by the French alienist Jules Gabriel François Baillarger (1806 1891). It comes from the Greek adjective automatos, which means automatically or driven by a power of its own.… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • automatism — automatist, n., adj. /aw tom euh tiz euhm/, n. 1. the action or condition of being automatic; mechanical or involuntary action. 2. Philos. the doctrine that all activities of animals, or of humans and animals, are entirely controlled by physical… …   Universalium

  • automatism — /atomatizam/ Behavior performed in a state of mental unconsciousness or dissociation without full awareness, i.e., somnambulism, fugues. Term is applied to actions or conduct of an individual apparently occurring without will, purpose, or… …   Black's law dictionary

  • automatism — /atomatizam/ Behavior performed in a state of mental unconsciousness or dissociation without full awareness, i.e., somnambulism, fugues. Term is applied to actions or conduct of an individual apparently occurring without will, purpose, or… …   Black's law dictionary

  • automatism — noun Etymology: French automatisme, from automate automaton, from Latin automaton Date: 1838 1. a. the quality or state of being automatic b. an automatic action 2. the moving or functioning (as of an organ, tissue, or a body part) without… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • automatism — noun /ɔːˈtɒmətɪzəm/ a) Acting automatically or involuntarily. generalising this phenomenon, Mr Myers has given the name of automatism, sensory or motor, emotional or intellectual, to this whole sphere of effects, due to ‘uprushes’ into the… …   Wiktionary

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