Client shoved neighbour resulting in common assault charge
Police charged our client, Jack, with the common assault of his neighbour. This followed an incident where the two passed each other while entering/exiting an elevator in their apartment complex. The assault in this case was a simple shove. No one threw any punches and there was no spilling of any blood. It was our view that the offending was on the lower end of the scale. This was evidenced by our client not going into police custody nor was there the imposition of any bail conditions. However, there was another mitigating factor that led to a Section 14 application.
After Jack contacted our firm for assistance he met with one of our experienced criminal solicitors. He informed the lawyer that he suffers from a mental illness. Namely, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Using this information we advised Jack that he had two options:
- We can write representations to police to withdraw the charge because of the minor nature of the offending, or,
- We can make a Section 14 Application on his behalf before the Local Court.
Jack instructed our firm to first write representations to the police, which we did. However, the police did not withdraw the charge. This is common. As such, we then decided to make a Section 14 Application.
To facilitate this we had Jack’s treating psychologist write a letter to the Court outlining his mental illness. Also, an experienced forensic psychiatrist assess and write a report to the Court in support of the Application.
Courts often hesitate to grant a Section 14 application for ADHD
There is reluctance to grant Section 14 for this common mental health disorder. However, we prepared ourselves to fight hard for Jack.
- the persuasive and convincing submissions our criminal solicitor made to the Court,
- the letter from the psychologist,
- and the report from the forensic psychiatrist,
Magistrate Mijovich of Hornsby Local Court dismissed the charge. Jack was to accept all reasonable directions for treatment and medication. The Section 14 Application succeeded.
If you suffer from a mental health disorder and are facing criminal charges, contact us to see if we may be able to secure a Section 14 application dismissal.