Mental Health Applications in the Local Court for Commonwealth Offences are made under section 20BQ of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth).
Your application will succeed if the court is persuaded that:
You can only make a section 20BQ application if you are facing a Commonwealth offence, such as an offence under:
‘Mental illness’ is defined as a condition that seriously impairs, either temporarily or permanently, your mental functioning, and is characterised by the presence of:
‘Intellectual disability’ has been defined as a condition which:
When deciding whether it is more appropriate to deal with you under the section than otherwise in accordance with the law, the magistrate may consider:
Your mental state at the time of the hearing is relevant for the purposes of the application, rather than your mental state at the time of the alleged offence.
If your application is successful, the magistrate may dismiss the charge and discharge you:
A conditional discharge may require you to comply with a treatment or support plan, which may direct you to do such things as:
The treatment or support plan can last for up to 3 years.
A successful section 20BQ application will mean you avoid a criminal conviction and also avoid a finding that you are guilty of the offence.
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