Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

The United States Supreme Court rules on issues that have the potential of changing the landscape of the criminal justice system

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Police And The Those with Mental Illness

In the next few days, the United States Supreme Court will be considering the case of San Francisco v Sheehan. The issue, in that case, is whether, under the Americans With Disabilities Act, police officers are required to take special precautions when trying to arrest armed and violent suspects who are mentally ill. Criminal charges against those with mental illness can result from police officers’ ignorance of mental health issues.

The case started when police in San Francisco were called when a mentally ill woman (Sheehan) threatened to kill her social worker. Police entered Ms. Sheehan’s room in a group home and shot her five times when she came at them with a knife. Sheehan sued San Francisco, claiming that the police had a duty under the ADA to consider her mental illness and take more steps to avoid a violent confrontation.

This case has supporters on both sides. Mental health groups think that police should consider a suspect’s mental health; otherwise, there will be unnecessary police shootings. Law enforcement groups argue that deciding that police must take mental illness into consideration will place officers and bystanders at unnecessary risk.

The ADA requires that public officials make “reasonable accommodations” to avoid discriminating against people with disabilities. The lower courts are split on applying the law to police when public safety is at risk.

The United States Supreme Court Decision Could Change Police Behavior and Criminal Charges Against Those with Mental Illness

If you are facing criminal charges, it is important not to face the criminal justice system alone. The government has essentially unlimited power and money to fight you, which means you are essentially unarmed. That is why it is essential to have a great law firm stand between you and the tremendous power of the government that is interested in convicting you. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. pride themselves in being the law firm that will stand between you and the government to make sure that every single right you have is honored and protected. Our attorneys are well respected and highly experienced. If you are in trouble, LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is the law firm you can count on for help. When those with mental illness face criminal charges, it takes highly educated and influential defense lawyers to obtain the best possible result.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

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