irresistible impulse

A form of insanity, frequently termed "impulsive insanity," by which a person is irresistibly impelled to the commission of an act, for example, the killing of a person. 29 Am J Rev ed Ins Per § 3. A product of mental insanity, as distinguished from moral insanity. 21 Am J2d Crim L § 36. An impulse to commit an act, otherwise criminal, which one is powerless to control in consequence of a disease of the mind or brain, although he may be able to comprehend the nature and consequences of his act and know that it is wrong. 21 Am J2d Crim L § 36. An impulse produced by and growing out of some mental disease affecting the volitive as distinguished from the perceptive powers, so that the person afflicted, while able to understand the nature of the consequences and to perceive that the act is wrong, is unable because of such mental disease to resist the insane impulse to do it. Durham v United States, 94 App DC 228, 214 F2d 862, 45 ALR2d 1430 Insanity constituting a ground for divorce, where generated by a diseased mind. Willis v Willis (Mo App) 274 SW2d 621. It is essential carefully to distinguish between instances of irresistible impulse and those situations where persons in the possession of their reasoning faculties are impelled by passion to the commission of acts which in their calmer moments would prove repulsive. Mutual Life Ins. Co. v Terry (US) 15 Wall 580, 21 L Ed 236.

Ballentine's law dictionary. . 1998.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • irresistible impulse — ir·re·sis·ti·ble im·pulse /ˌir rə zis tə bəl / n: an overpowering impulse produced by mental disease or defect that leads to the commission of a criminal act (as murder) Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. irresistible …   Law dictionary

  • Irresistible impulse — In criminal law, irresistible impulse is a defense by excuse, in this case some sort of insanity, in which the defendant argues that they should not be held criminally liable for their actions that broke the law, because they could not control… …   Wikipedia

  • irresistible impulse — As used as insanity defense, an irresistible impulse means an impulse to commit an unlawful or criminal act which cannot be resisted or overcome because mental disease has destroyed the freedom of will, the power of self control, and the choice… …   Black's law dictionary

  • irresistible impulse — an impulse to commit a criminal act that cannot be resisted because mental disease has destroyed the person s freedom of will and power to choose between right and wrong. The “irresistible impulse test” that a person is not criminally… …   Medical dictionary

  • irresistible impulse — noun an urge to do or say something that might be better left undone or unsaid he felt a compulsion to babble on about the accident • Syn: ↑compulsion • Derivationally related forms: ↑compulsive (for: ↑compulsion) …   Useful english dictionary

  • irresistible impulse — overpowering urge, irrepressible drive, powerful instinct …   English contemporary dictionary

  • irresistible impulse test — n: a test used in some jurisdictions when considering an insanity defense that involves a determination of whether an impulse to commit a criminal act was irresistible due to mental disease or defect regardless of whether the defendant knew right …   Law dictionary

  • irresistible impulse test — see under impulse …   Medical dictionary

  • Impulse (disambiguation) — Impulse, in mechanics, is something that changes the momentum of an object.Impulse may also mean:In psychology*Impulse (psychology), a wish or urge, particularly a sudden one.In law* Irresistible impulse, a defense by excuse in which the… …   Wikipedia

  • irresistible — I adjective cogent, compelling, forceful, forcible, formidable, impossible to overcome, impossible to resist, impossible to withstand, indomitable, insuperabilis, invictus, invincible, mighty, omnipotent, overpowering, overwhelming, potent,… …   Law dictionary

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