Autism Spectrum Disorders, Including Asperger Syndrome, As A Defense Or Mitigating Circumstance In Federal And State Criminal Cases And Prosecutions

While the world is becoming more informed about the Autism Spectrum Disorder characterized as Asperger Syndrome, there is still much misinformation and lack of informed information regarding this condition when a person who suffers from this disorder faces criminal prosecution. The lawyers at Lindsey & Ferry, P.A., have had great success in representing persons who suffer from this mental disorder in providing information to the decision makers in the process.

A defense attorney may not wish to highlight a person’s disorder, believing it will be of no consequence. The attorneys at Lindsey & Ferry, P.A., have found, however, that an educated judge, prosecutor, or jury, if given the appropriate information, resources, and choices, would be more likely to treat such persons who suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorder more leniently based on their individual circumstances.

Generally speaking, a client who has been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder may show effects including, among other things, a very long history of failing to develop appropriate peer relationships, a lack of social or emotional reciprocity, and marked impairments in social awareness and understanding of nonverbal behaviors. People who suffer from this disorder generally have a maturity level not associated with their chronological age, but that of a much younger person, and do not always recognize the inappropriateness of certain behaviors.

It is important for the courts and the prosecutors to understand this mental disability in order to differentiate the conduct of such a person from other offenders in terms of culpability. Considering such a person’s medical condition and other factors, argument can be presented to the court that the person’s conduct was less egregious than the conduct generally exhibited by someone not suffering from such a disorder.

The lawyers at Lindsey & Ferry, P.A., have worked with various doctors, experts, and other resources in obtaining the appropriate evaluations and treatment programs for people suffering from this disorder. Also, the lawyers have found a wealth of information and assistance from resources such as the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) at the University of Central Florida and ASPIRE (Asperger's Syndrome Pursuing Interests, Recreation & Entertainment), CARD's Metro-Orlando adult social group.