criminal lawyer

How criminal lawyers in Sydney can help if you have a mental illness

If you have been charged with an offence then you will want to get in touch with a great criminal lawyer in Sydney. However, sometimes we commit crimes that have been strongly influenced by mental illness. This is when having criminal lawyers in Sydney can be extremely helpful.

There are a number of provisions within the law designed to ensure that those who are experiencing mental illness are ushered towards treatment rather than a punishment. The most common way for someone to avoid charges in this state is through a Section 32 application.


What is a Section 32 application?

The Section 32 of the Mental Health Act states that an individual who suffers from a mental condition is able to bypass the court and follow a prescribed treatment plan from the court through seeing a psychologist on a regular basis for a set period.

The court states that a mental condition is able to be treated through regular sessions with a psychologist. Mental conditions are seen to be less severe than a mental illness or disability and include things like; anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or substance abuse.


How can I get a Section 32?

Having criminal lawyers in Sydney represent you will go a long way to a successful Section 32 application. They will be able to collect all of the important and relevant information to help you achieve a fair result for your case.

Those who are suffering from a mental condition deserve to be treated so that they are able to overcome their condition and live a happy life. Criminal lawyers in Sydney will do their best to facilitate this.

A Section 32 can be granted at any stage of court proceedings if it becomes apparent that at the time of the crime, or currently, you are suffering from a mental condition. The first step to achieving this is to have your criminal lawyers in Sydney obtain a report from a mental health professional stating that you have a mental condition and how it impacts you. This will, of course, require you to attend a psychologist or other relevant doctor at the advice of your criminal lawyers in Sydney.


If you are successful with your Section 32 application then there are a number of possible outcomes;

  • You may be dismissed of all charges and placed on a court-mandated treatment plan.
  • Your case may be adjourned for a period of time during which your progress from treatment will be monitored to determine if your case should be dismissed or not.
  • For those in custody, the magistrate may grant you bail on the conditions of treatment.

The outcomes will depend slightly on the information surrounding you and the case and this is why having criminal lawyers in Sydney is beneficial. They are likely to be able to facilitate a better outcome.

A treatment plan will be specified if you are granted a Section 32 and this can include;

  • Weekly attendance at counselling with a psychologist or other health professional.
  • Taking any necessary medication.
  • Having your medication, condition and treatment plan reviewed every month.


A Section 32 tends to last a maximum of six months and is arguably better than a Section 10 because there is no finding of guilt. Criminal lawyers in Sydney will be able to help with all case matter and it is especially important if you believe that you are suffering from a mental condition. Criminal lawyers in Sydney will be there to help you and provide you with the best possible outcome whether that is a reduced punishment or treatment for a mental condition.