It’s very important for defendants with a mental illness in Arizona to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Most defendants are unfamiliar with the legal system and need a voice in court. This is especially the case when the accused has a mental disorder. His or her needs are often ignored in the criminal justice system.
Some attorneys like Bernardo Garcia have decades of experience helping clients with psychiatric illnesses. When a defendant has a psychiatric disorder or another health issue it’s important to help an attorney as much as possible to build a watertight defense.
Some tips to help your attorney when a defendant has a mental illness in Arizona include:
1 Disclose all of your medical conditions
Your medical condition may be important in building up a defense. Some people who suffer from mental illnesses don’t want to talk about it. However, you should reveal everything about your condition to your lawyer who is there to help you. He may pick up on something that helps your case.
2 Involve your family
Few things are as stressful as being charged with a crime. This is particularly the case for people with mental illnesses. Family members play a vital supporting role. You should get them involved in the legal process. Family members may be called to give evidence in some cases or provide testimony about the defendant’s mental illness.
3 Make sure you understand the legal process. If you are not clear about the role of your attorney, you may not be competent to stand trial. Family members should check their relative with mental illness understands the charges and the consequences. Your attorney will also do this.
4 Disclose all medications
You should make sure your lawyer is aware of any medications you are taking and inform the legal representative of any problems you may face accusing medication in jail. Family members can also inform the lawyer about his client’s medication.
5 List mitigating factors
Mitigation is important in cases where a mentally ill person faces criminal charges. In some cases, the defendant will plead guilty but the lawyer will present mitigating evidence that can reduce an eventual sentence. It’s important to keep people with psychiatric disorders and other mental health issues out of prison if possible.
6 Be ready to talk about alternatives
There are many mental health defenses and alternatives to incarceration like diversion programs. You should be ready to talk candidly with your attorney about what may work best for you.
Attorney Bernardo Garcia has a long track record of helping people with mental illnesses. He also works very closely with their family members. Call him for a consultation as soon as a loved one is arrested on Phoenix or elsewhere at (602) 340-1999.