Published on 12, July, 2020
just want to know how does legal justice deal with someone with autism. say someone with autism had commited a crime because they were very traumatised and depressed. will they still get send to prison or will there be other treatment for them?
Autistic Adrian said:just want to know how does legal justice deal with someone with autism. say someone with autism had commited a crime because they were very traumatised and depressed. will they still…
You cant go around touching 5 year olds you need to look for help to avoid getting in trouble with this
Autistic Adrian said:just want to know how does legal justice deal with someone with autism. say someone with autism had commited a crime because they were very traumatised and depressed. will they still get send to prison or will there be other treatment for them?
Refer to the following:
All criminal justice professionals may come into contact with people on the autism spectrum, many of whom may be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Here you will find information about autistic people, tips for initial police contact, interviews and court appearances, ways that parents and carers can help, and where to find further information and training.
Autistic people are more likely to be victims and witnesses of crime than offenders. They experience difficulties with social communication, social interaction and social imagination. They may have sensory difficulties and some coordination problems. Their behaviour may appear odd and can sometimes draw unnecessary attention, but in general autism is a hidden disability and it may not be immediately obvious to other people that the person has a disability.
When autistic people commit offences, it may be for the following reasons.
Initial police contact can exacerbate a difficult situation. The use of handcuffs and restraint may be extremely frightening for someone who does not understand what is happening and may not be able to communicate their fears in an appropriate way. This, coupled with the use of loud sirens, may result in sensory overload, causing the person to try to run away or hit out at people, including the police. The very presence of the police may cause great anxiety to a law-abiding autistic person who has no comprehension of the crime they may have committed.
An autistic person has the right to an appropriate adult.
If the person refuses a solicitor, it may be because they do not understand their role and will feel even more confused when another stranger becomes involved.
When the custody officer asks the person whether they have a disability, most autistic people will say no because the question it is not specific enough.
If the custody officer suspects that the person may have a disability, and contacts the Force Medical Officer, be aware that they may have only limited autism knowledge, and may not recognise that someone has the condition. This could also be true of any social worker who is called. We would advise that a specialist in the field of autism, such as a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, be contacted.
Due to the difficulties autistic people have with communication and social interaction, a police interview can be extremely difficult. The person may appear very able, with a good or even exceptional vocabulary, and there may be no reason for an interviewing police officer to suspect that the interviewee requires additional help.
However, the officer may later find they receive blunt answers, the subject is changed and the individual is reluctant to make direct eye contact. The literal way in which a person on the autism spectrum might interpret language can lead to them giving incorrect answers or becoming anxious.
All these things contribute to an assumption of guilt. Indeed, some of the interrogation techniques used by interviewers could inadvertently elicit false confessions from an autistic person.
Here are some suggestions for interviewing autistic people to help elicit the correct response.
The person may need frequent breaks. Explain clearly that he or she is going to have a break for a specified amount of time and what will happen next. Signs that they are becoming anxious and in need of a break may include repetitive speech, hand-flapping or other repetitive movements, self-injury such as hand biting, shouting or physical behaviour.
If the solicitor recognises that their client has autism or a mental health condition, they might ask to delay proceedings until a psychiatric report can be obtained. In the International Classification of Diseases, autism comes under the heading of 'Mental and behavioural disorders', and under the sub-group of 'Disorders of psychological development'. This offers the magistrate the option to proceed under mental health rather than criminal legislation.
A defendant on the autism spectrum should be assessed for their capacity to understand the proceedings. Some autistic people are unfit to plead in court. The judge or jury can decide on a person's fitness to plead and can draw on as many psychiatric reports as necessary in order to do this.
It is essential to have a report from a specialist in the autism field. Details of a small number of specialists able to act in court cases are available from our Autism Helpline. Sometimes it is easier to obtain a specialist medical report after obtaining medical reports from the person's GP. In some cases, a court may make a hospital order for 28 days for assessment. This will usually be at the local psychiatric unit, where there may not necessarily be an autism specialist.
Witnesses who are on the autism spectrum may need special measures and/or a Registered Intermediary who can help the judge and the lawyers to phrase their questions in a way that the person will understand. At the discretion of the judge, these things can also be put in place for a vulnerable defendant.
Police or the Crown Prosecution Service can request a Registered Intermediary through the Witness Intermediary Scheme by contacting the National Crime Agency Specialist Operations Centre (SOC) at email@example.com or on 0845 000 5463. This is for criminal cases only, and SOC can only take requests from the police or CPS, not from individuals.
There isn't one way this would be handled. The crime, the severity of it, as well as the criminals' background would all be taken into consideration when deciding the outcome.
say if an autistic person got bullied physically and he got a temper tantrum and push the bully back and run away, how would it be dealt with if a police got involved?
A lawyer can request a psychiatric assessment and report to explain how the autism affects the accused person in relation to the crime. Usually this is a question of intent and will just be a mitigating factor when it comes to the sentencing but may cancel out some, most or in exceptional cases, all of the charges. Having autism does not exclude someone from being convicted of a crime or sent to jail for a serious crime. The CJS deals with autism very poorly, and in my opinion sees us as an easy target.
I have autism and got a criminal conviction basically for online harassment in reaction to someone who was harassing me and would not leave me alone for years (she would constanty message me and my friends asking where I live, drive past my house, moved closer to me, followed me and took pictures in the same places I had been etc.)
I reacted by annoying her to try and get rid of her and was arrested without any warning, had 20 electronic devices taken from my house and ended up with a criminal record. My final charges were:
"accessing social media accounts without permission" (even though the complainer had given me the password and instructions to go on the account)
"contacting persons known to the complainer" (even though she gave me instructions to message her sister because she thought it would be funny)
"editing photos without permission" (even though she had sent me several messages in a row asking for me to edit her photos)
I still have the evidence to prove my innocence and that the complainer was the one harassing me but I fought and fought and all the police, CPS and court did was ignore anything which proved I had done nothing wrong and which would make them look stupid after all the money they wasted prosecuting me. In the end 2.5 years into the case my lawyer advised my to admit guilt to what I didn't do to get it over with quick or they would make it worse and there was a higher risk of going to jail. I was given 24 months supervision and a lot of community service hours.
Overall I was an easy target for the CJS because of ASD, my disability of poor social awareness to understand that I'd upset anyone on Facebook, easier to prosecute me than to go after real criminals that know what they are doing.
I have a masters degree in engineering and had just graduated after working and paying tax this case put me onto the dole otherwise I would be facing £10k+ in legal, psychiatric and technical expert bills. I've also went from no mental health history to several problems and am now looking into claiming ESA rather than my original plans to contribute to the economy as an engineer
Autistic Adrian said:say if an autistic person got bullied physically and he got a temper tantrum and push the bully back and run away, how would it be dealt with if a police got involved?
Well at bare minimum recalling that two wrongs do not make a right, and providing no one is actually hurt, cautions would be given to both people involved with the non autistic person getting the more severe cautioning.
If the non-autistic person that started the bullying came to some serious harm though, such as having fallen over due to being pushed and having as a result broken a bone or even died, then the autistic person would be charged and sentenced accordingly if premeditated or not, but if there was 'premeditation' (a plan to retaliate) the charge and sentencing will be more severe.
i mean why should autistic people be send to prison for something they done that they dont have capacity for. why cant they be send to mental hospital rather than prison?
the mainstream society are very stupid, nasty and a ***. they always normalized people with autism and treat them just like other people. you see i hate when people say having autism is not a free pass for anything or having autism cant be overindulged, they still need to follow the rules and i definately hate that's life without doing something to help autistic people.
Autistic Adrian said:i mean why should autistic people be send to prison for something they done that they dont have capacity for. why cant they be send to mental hospital rather than prison?
I did not though state that autistic people would be sent to prison rather than a mental hospital, just that the severity of the crime would effect the sentencing.
Autistic Adrian said:the mainstream society are very stupid, nasty and a ***. they always normalized people with autism and treat them just like other people.
The difficulty is though here that you normalize mainstream society according to your perspective of how you believe them to be, so rather than being 'stupid' as you state they are in fact ignorant in terms of not knowing the difficulties we as autistic people face.
And rather than as you state that mainstream society are nasty 'a ***' ~ insulting them is not kind either, so perhaps recollect my statement that two wrongs do not make a right, and instead therefore be informative and considerate in order to solve the problem of ignorance involving both non-autistic and autistic people's understanding of each another.
Autistic Adrian said:you see i hate when people say having autism is not a free pass for anything or having autism cant be overindulged, they still need to follow the rules and i definately hate that's life without doing something to help autistic people.
Well autism is not a free pass for 'anything' in that it it requires 'special' or 'particular' consideration regarding 'social interaction, imagination and communication difficulties', and of course 'overindulging' in anything is problematic as every behavior or activity requires to be moderated in a reasonable law abiding way.
I am so, so sorry that happened to you. That’s truly horrific. How is it even legal for them to ignore concrete evidence which proved your innocence?
I can only begin to imagine how angry and frustrated you must feel at such appallingly unjust treatment. Honestly, it broke my heart reading this.
With a MEng., you’re clearly very bright and capable. Is there a way for you to setup your own business, maybe online? I hate the thought of all your hard work and talent going to waste, although I fully appreciate this dreadful experience will take time to recover from, but please don’t write yourself off forever. One day, things will feel better.
Pushing someone one isn't acceptable behaviour but it depends specifically on what happens as to how the police respond. For example, if you push them over a bridge into a river and then the person dies - this would be manslaughter. If a person was pushed over but their health was ok and its a first offence the police may simply speak to the perpetrator (the autistic) about how their behaviour isn't acceptable.
Basically the case was one sided I believe because the only interest of the police and CPS is to secure a conviction, the court is there to decide if I done something or not rather than to look at the whole picture from a logical perspective.
The police did not investigate my counter allegation properly so they didnt bother to retreive phone records or messages which would have shown the complainer harassing me and asking me to do the things which I was charged for. I had screenshots and emails but the police tried to FOB me off and tell me they couldnt be used as evidence or it was just a coincidence that she had taken pictures in the same places where I had on 8 or 9 occassions shortly after I'd been.
My lawyer basically said that although I had some screenshots, it was risky to go to trial because the complainer and police were good at acting all the "fear and alarm" I had caused by annoying her back on Facebook. He said the screenshots would just be used against me to prove that there was a link between us and that I was responsible. From his experience the court is happy to convict people in this way all the time. When the crime is causing "fear and alarm" it's very easy for the legislation to be manipulated into prosecuting anyone for almost anything because it's so subjective.
The police even categorised the case as domestic even though I had only met the complainer 3 times (who is also married) to use the domestic legislation to avoid investigating the other party.
I do not plan to work again after this because I simply cannot cope with the anxiety of a criminal record even if someone did employ me with it, but I do look at online things to make money so I'm quite content doing that whilst getting benefits just now