Mental Impairment Defence Assessment in Melbourne

Legal representatives may wish to consider the possible availability of a mental impairment defence for a client charged with a criminal offence. Dr Carroll is available to provide an expert psychiatric opinion regarding possible eligibility for a mental impairment defence. Contact The Psychiatry Expert today.

Dr Carroll conducts evaluations regarding possible eligibility for a mental impairment defence, basing opinions on the relevant jurisdictional criteria, such as those in the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to Stand Trial) Act 1997 (Victoria).

Establishing whether your client has a Mental Impairment Defence available

Eligibility for a Mental Impairment defence after a person has been charged with a criminal offence requires two elements. Firstly, the person must be diagnosed with a mental disorder of a kind that the law recognises to be a ‘mental impairment’ (previously known as ‘disease of the mind’). Second, at the time of the conduct comprising the alleged offence, the manifestations of that disorder (such as delusional thinking) must have been of such a severity that the person either did not know the nature and quality of their actions, or (more commonly) was unable to reason “with a moderate degree of sense and composure” as to whether another (“reasonable”) person would consider that conduct to be wrongful.

In practice, this requires careful consideration of evidence relating to the person’s prior mental health history and their mental state and behaviour at the time of the alleged offence and its aftermath.

Dr Carroll is able to advise referring lawyers regarding collateral materials that need to be obtained in order to adequately consider whether these elements have been met. He is experienced in carrying out forensic psychiatric assessment interviews that focus on obtaining the relevant history and mental state data from persons accused of criminal charges, having conducted many hundreds of such assessments.  He frequently gives evidence before the courts in Melbourne and has also given evidence in other jurisdictions across Australia.

Other Forensic Psychiatric Assessments for the criminal courts

Dr Carroll is also able to provide opinions regarding your client’s fitness to stand trial and psychiatric factors relevant to sentencing (pre-sentence assessments).

He has been involved in many Supreme Court and County Court hearings, in Melbourne and regional Victoria, at which these issues have been in dispute.

Dr Carroll also regularly lectures to mental health and legal professionals on the matters of fitness to stand trial and psychiatric factors relevant to sentencing (pre-sentence assessments).

Dr Carroll has published in peer-reviewed journals on a range of subjects relevant to forensic psychiatry, including pre-sentence psychiatric assessments, psychiatric factors relevant to mitigation of sentence and the mental impairment defence.

For more information or to book an assessment in Melbourne, please contact our staff by calling (03) 8592 7959, or via email at info@thepsychiatryexpert.com, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.