Mental Health, Developmental Disability, or Neurological Disorder

Compassionate Defense

A mental diagnosis is often a trigger to an event that results in criminal charges. Michele’s success in advocating for clients with mental health concerns is grounded in her sensitivity and knowledge. Michele specializes in working with many clients who present a mental health diagnosis such as, but not limited to, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, and Schizoaffective Disorder. Michele understands the unique challenges facing these clients. Her thoughtful approach takes into consideration the client’s treatment needs and mitigating the impact of a criminal charge. Often these two perspectives intersect as prosecutors are more willing to reduce charges when they are assured an individual’s treatment needs are being met. The most important component of representing individuals with mental health issues is conveying to the prosecutor how the mental health issues affect criminal culpability. Individuals with mental health issues may not understand the serious consequences of their decisions.

Criminalization of Mental Health Disorders

Finding the right mental health treatment can be a process that takes years. Sometimes while individuals are seeking treatment and testing medications they still cannot control their behavior. These lapses can often result in criminal charges when a problem with brain chemistry overrides common sense or good judgment. Often the people who are charged with these crimes did not have the capacity to commit a crime because they were suffering from a mental health disorder. Demonstrating to the prosecutor why a person with a mental health issue should not be charged with a crime is an area in which Michele excels and has had great success. Depending on the diagnosis her defense strategy may include Diminished Capacity, Insanity, or presentation of mitigation materials.

Mental Health and Your Family

Mental health issues affect the entire family. Michele works with family members to ensure clients have the support and resources they need to navigate both the criminal defense system and obtain appropriate treatment. Many individuals faced with criminal charges may also be involved in Involuntary Commitment Proceedings. Michele is experienced navigating between these two systems and keeping your family informed during the process.