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?
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
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.
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
That really is just awful. I hate that, as a subset of the disability community, we are so especially vulnerable to unjust accusations and then left to suffer the consequences on our own (and at our own cost).
I'm at home at the moment due to ill health so hopefully I'll see you around these forums a bit more. Maybe you could add an avatar and username to your Profile? So many "NAS<random number>" types knocking about. Take good care. Xx