If you suffer from mental illness, Australian Criminal Law Group has Sydney’s best criminal lawyers for section 32 applications to have your criminal charges dismissed.

Mental health is no longer the taboo subject it once was with the community and governments of Australia. We now recognise the terrible impact it is having on people’s lives. The courts have recognised the need for people with mental illnesses to be treated with particular care when being sentenced. This often extends leniency to people diagnosed with conditions such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, bi-polar, and schizophrenia.

Our criminal lawyers are experts at arguing that people who suffer mental illness should have their criminal charges dealt with by section 32. This means they receive no criminal record or other punishment.

Below is information about section 32s. If you need representation or criminal law advice make a website enquiry or call our free 24/7 criminal law hotline on 8815 8167.

What is a section 32 order?

The court makes a section 32 order under the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990. The order diverts people out of the criminal system and into the care of their treating psychologist, psychiatrist, or general practitioner within the community.

You will be eligible for a section 32 order if you are developmentally disabled, suffering from mental illness or a mental condition for which treatment is available in a hospital It means you are not a mentally ill person (a mentally ill person is someone who presents a real risk of harm to themselves or others).

How do our criminal lawyers get section 32s?

To get section 32s for our clients we obtain reports from the best psychologists and psychiatrists. The choice of psychologists and psychiatrists we use have a varied price range. This ensures none of our clients are stopped from running a section 32 because they have limited financial means.

Our reports have treatment plans that give the courts confidence in using section 32.

What else will the court consider in deciding whether to give me a section 32?

Our criminal lawyers argue that it is more appropriate to deal with you by way of section 32 order than by punishing you under the criminal law.

In considering the appropriateness, the court will consider:

  • The seriousness of the offence and facts alleged against you.
  • Your criminal record (if you have one).
  • What the mental illness is and what caused its onset.
  • The link between the mental illness and offending.
  • Past and present treatment you have received.
  • The treatment plan proposed for the future.

What will happen to me if I get a section 32?

A section 32 lasts for six months. Conditions of the section 32 can include:

  • Continuing treatment with your psychiatrist or psychologist.
  • Taking prescribed medication.
  • Abstaining from drugs and/or alcohol and submitting to testing;

Section 32 cases

Offences for which our criminal lawyers have obtained section 32 for include:

  • High Range drink driving;
  • Driving while Disqualified;
  • Supply and possession of drugs, including methylamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA.
  • Domestic violence
  • Common assault;
  • Assault occasioning actual bodily harm;
  • Recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm;
  • Reckless wounding;
  • Affray;

Various sex offences including indecent assault.

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