A video detailing how you can win your case due to mental health.
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This video is called how can I win my case due to mental health. The most common way to win a criminal case, when I say 'when' I mean to have charges dismissed in a criminal case for mental health is under what's called section 32. It's section 32 of the mental health forensic provisions act 1990 and it provides various ways to have a defendant discharged that is for them not to have a criminal conviction, not to have a criminal record because of the fact that they are suffering from a mental illness, or a mental condition, or some sort of other disorder. Now the most common part of section 32 is section 32 3A, and that provides that a person can be discharged into the care of a person, so for example into the care of a psychologist so they can come under the guide of a psychologist's plan provided that they have a mental condition, and if it's more appropriate to deal with them by way of a treatment plan then otherwise in accordance with the law. So we rewind a bit here, what occurs is for example a person may be charged with an assault, some sort of an assault, which of course is a serious type of an offence. Now if the person is suffering from a mental condition, for example it might be a serious depression, or it might be serious anxiety disorder and they may react it in those circumstances, or it could be a more serious type of a condition, or categorized as more serious type of a condition, such as bipolar, or chronic schizophrenia, or something like that. Whatever the case might be if a person is suffering from a mental condition and the magistrate is persuaded that it's more appropriate to deal with them by way of a treatment plan then a person can avoid a criminal conviction and they can also avoid a finding of guilt. Now you may have heard of section 10, that's when you plead guilty to an offence and the magistrate uses their discretion not to give you a criminal conviction. For a section 10 there's still a finding of guilt so you're still guilty of the offence, but under section 32, if the section 32 application is successful, there's not even a finding of guilt. So it's a very useful mechanism for persons who are suffering from mental conditions. So there is an incidence, there is an alleged offence, what occurs then is you might want to see a lawyer and the lawyer can arrange for what's called a psychological report, or a psychiatric report. Now that's psychological report, a psychiatric report will have some background about you, will normally have some background about the alleged incident, and it will talk about the condition that you suffer. At the end of the report though it will very very importantly set down what's called a treatment plan. It has to have a treatment plan for you to succeed in these types of matters. Now a treatment plan for example might say that you see your general practitioner and you take any medication as prescribed, that you see your psychologist on a fortnightly basis, it may talk about the fact that you need to undertake cognitive behavioural therapy or whatever it might be, it can talk about the fact that you might need to be reassessed by psychiatrist after two months time. It will have certain things in there that you need to comply with if you're dealt with under this particular section. Now treatment plants can last for up to six months, and these section 32 orders only lasts for a maximum of six months. So step one you've been charged with the offence. Step two you seen a lawyer. Step three the lawyer has arranged for a report. So you've got the report what happens then? What normally happens on the first day in court is that the matter will be for a mention a short court date. Normally you won't have the final report by that stage, and if you do often the court will want to set the matter down for a hearing of this application down the track. So it might be four weeks down the track, six weeks down the track, whatever it might be. So the first court date will normally be a mention date, the matter will be set down for a hearing of this section 32 application. When your lawyer comes before the court for this section 32 application they will normally already have served, that is given, the other side, the prosecution, which is the police or the DPP, a copy of this report. They normally also will have filed a copy of that report in court. So it's the day of the hearing what happens then normally is that the magistrates will read the reports when they're on the bench...