Los Angeles Criminal Defense Firm


Malingering is a medical term for "faking it" or exaggerating symptoms. When someone is malingering they are pretending to have a mental or physical disorder, especially for purposes of avoiding work, school, or military service; for obtaining drugs or disability payments or financial compensation (related to fraud); or lastly, for avoiding criminal responsibility or obtaining a lighter criminal sentence. Some defendants in criminal trial will pretend to have some mental disorder or impairment and the prosecutor may claim during trial that the defendant is malingering. Often in such situations, psychologists or psychiatrists for each side may interview a defendant to assess if the claim of impairment is real, or if the defendant is malingering.