Diminished Capacity Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Diminished Capacity.

Diminished Capacity (noun) - A legal term used in criminal law to describe a situation where an accused person's mental state was not at full capacity during a crime, due to emotional distress or physical conditions. This state is not to be confused with insanity. When argued successfully, it may lead to a less severe conviction, as the accused may have lacked the ability to fully understand their actions or have premeditated intent. Often used to reduce charges from murder to manslaughter.