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November 25, 2019

Autism & Mental Health

Autism & Mental Health

The criminal justice system is usually the wrong place for those with mental health issues, yet many suspects and defendants are deeply affected by their mental health. We understand the need for specialist representation of those with mental health issues. We specialise in both criminal and mental health law – there is no-one who understands these issues better.

For those on the autistic spectrum the criminal justice system can be particularly frightening. Both the police and the courts remain too often sadly ignorant of the needs of those with ASD, Asperger’s Syndrome or related conditions. We are registered with the National Autistic Association and have a wealth of experience in representing such suspects and defendants. This ranges across relatively minor but hugely worrying police allegations to the most serious and complex cases.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), including from those who have served in the armed forces or emergency services is being seen increasingly often in the police and court system. Effective representation for those who have profound life experiences is sensitive and specialist.

Behavioural disorders, including bipolar disorder, anti-social or oppositional disorders and ADHD are complex and important conditions that are encountered frequently but can be poorly represented in the criminal justice system. Proper understanding of a relevant mental health condition can go a long way to effective representation.

Depression and anxiety are serious conditions that are often badly misunderstood and represented. Both can have a debilitating impact on lifestyle and can be exacerbated by criminal investigations or proceedings.

Our specialist team strongly believes and advocates for the effective representation for those with mental health issues who become embroiled in the criminal justice system, and it is some of the most important work that we undertake.