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Mental illness

My friend's husband has bipolar disorder. He is on medication and in therapy, and has been for years. He still has bouts of mania, in which he becomes aggressive and destructive to property and once to a person. He's been arrested once due to an argument he had while in one of his "episodes" and now he's facing trial again because he had a panic attack, broke through a glass door, and resisted arrest. My friend is in a panic because her husband may have to go to prison, and their primary defense is that he was manic and panicking and the cops didn't give him time to calm down before trying to cuff him. Now, this is NOT a debate on whether or not you personally believe he should get off without doing prison time. I'm not even saying I think he shouldn't...however I told my friend I'd do as much research as possible on how the law views mental illness in relation to crimes. Cont'd...

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Asked by Anonymous at 4:55 PM on Nov. 19, 2009 in Just for Fun

Answers (8)
  • OP...does a mental illness make you NOT as responsible for your actions in terms of how the law views things. (The law...not YOU or ME...just the law) this a resonable defense so that he sentence may be lessened? How can they prevent this from happening again when he goes "nuts" if no one can restrain him? Can they serve that he needs an escort to go in public or be required to take certain precautions other than his therapy and medications? Any insight from someone knowledgable in law would be helpful. PS...I know this isn't "fun" but there is no law section and I figured my chances of finding someone who knows something would be higher in this section.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:58 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • this is not a question for "just for fun"
    change the category to health or politics

    Answer by fay101 at 5:04 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • bi polar is the "new term" for a manic depressive. and it is usually due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. no he should not go to prison. he should be taken for a 72 hour eval. and have his medications checked. people with such disorders are not exempt from the law. however, often when they go into theses "spells' or "eppisodes" they do not know what they are doing. he is diagnosed with this for a reason. bring his doctor in and past treatment statments and,or medical history. jail is no place for a person with a mental disorder. he needs help. my mother is a manic depressive paraniod scitzophrenic with multiple personalities. it is as scarey as it sounds. but with right meds and counsaling she is fine. it is when the docs dont listen to how she is feeling and start tweeking with her meds that she has eppisodes. i have lived with this my whole life. and am now going for my Ph.D. in psychology because of this.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:07 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • Strongly urge them to obtain a lawyer who will research into the legalities of crime and mental illness.
    There are different degrees of bi-polar and he would need to be tested, evaluated, and his medications would need to be looked into to determine if they were the correct dose or even the correct type.

    Answer by PrydferthMenyw at 5:39 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • I know someone who is in prison and is bipolar. They knew this person was before they sent them there. It is not going to matter one way or the other. I am sorry. If your friends husband is found guilty then he will go to prison.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:59 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • Depends did he go off his meds? If so I think he is responsible and knew what could happen when he stopped taking them and he should be lucky he didn't kill someone. If he was on meds and they just stopped working that is different. He should be placed in a psychiatric facility and treated until they find the right med.

    I have bi polar and if I don't take my meds I go nuts and do some crazy shit. I take them and if I ever stopped and hurt someone or did something criminal I would hold only myself responsible because I did not take the meds that prevented the behavior.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:15 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • OP-I know if he's found guilty he will still go to prison...the question is on whether having bipolar disorder is a defense to prevent him from being found guilty. For instance, if a mentally retarded person did this he may not be found guilty because he doesn't know better. Similarly, while a bipolar person is in a manic state, they may not realize what they are doing. (This is according to them...I am not bipolar so I dunno if he's full of it or not). So I was wondering how the law views this sort of having a mental illness a justifiable defense similar to being mentally incompetent or "temporarily insane"?

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:17 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • He may get temp. insanity? Not sure, but if it's the first time he has had an issue, no prior record with his mental health history then maybe he will get probation perhaps.

    I think each state views mental illness issues differently...and when arrested he should have been taken to a facility if the police were aware he was bi-polar, if he told them or his wife did.

    An ex boyfriend of mine had a brother whom totally wigged out after a night of drinking, started to flip out, took his bedroom door off the hinge ( we 3 rented his Moms house on the beach ) knocked a hole in the wall and I called the cops....they pepper sprayed him to subdue him outside and they tried to handcuff him for his protection, he resisted arrest.

    He was out the next day, his Army records were so outstanding while he was IN the military before he got out, he only got 6 mo. go figure!

    Hope it turns out OK for him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:27 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

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