The MMPI-2: A Critical Tool to Helping the Defendant

Sometimes in criminal law, a case appears unwinnable. For example, if your client was caught with child pornography and the prosecution can authenticate the illegal material. While that is not a case that you would take to trial, there are ways to provide a layer of protection for your client. One such way is to have the client examined with the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2).

The MMPI-2 can be utilized to detect personality disorders. If a disorder is detected that can provide support that the defense attorney can place into the sentencing memorandum to help provide insight as to why the defendant has been charged with the crime.

Scott Grabel of Grabel and Associates provided insight into the mmPI-2 when he stated, “This is a test that most people do not have an extensive knowledge of. Generally, the test will be given by a Ph.D. in clinical psychology to determine a disorder. While this does not mean that the defendant is incompetent, it does provide an added element of a defense which is essential at sentencing.”

William Amadeo of McManus and Amadeo added, “The MMPI-2 can also be given by a Ph.D. in neuropsychology but the key would be to find someone in the field that is respected by your court. Each court has a number of experts that they respect, to place the right expert, with the MMPI-2 could provide a beneficial situation for your client. If this test can display a personality disorder it could lead to a path of protection for your client.”

While the MMPI-2 is something that is not commonplace in the criminal justice system, the creative defense counsel can protect the freedom of their client a great deal by exploring options such as this test to work every option for their client.

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