At Olliers we specialise in representing clients who are on the autistic spectrum. We receive referrals from all over the country to deal with children, young people and adults who are either under investigation by the police or who are already charged with criminal offences.
Why should you have a specialist autism trained criminal lawyer?
Police officers, judges, magistrates and lawyers are unfortunately often ignorant about what autism is and how it can affect a case. This can lead to wrongful prosecutions and the mistreatment of autistic people, who through no fault of their own may find themselves on the wrong side of the law. All our solicitors have been trained in autism awareness and we are experts in dealing with clients on the spectrum.
We are very careful to deal with our clients in a sensitive way, taking into account fully their different needs. We recognise the extra level of anxiety that can be caused to our clients with autism and we will take all the time that is needed to explain the progress of a case fully and comprehensively.
We deal with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service robustly on behalf of our clients. We do all we can to avoid a client being arrested and interviewed in custody, instead pushing for interviews to take place voluntarily and when possible at a client’s home address. If a client has been arrested, we make forceful representations that they should be bailed.
Following interview we gather together all relevant material to make representations that a client should not be charged. In doing so we may instruct a pool of experts in autism who could assist in our representations. If a client is charged, we continue to push for the CPS and court to consider the needs of the client fully and we do all we can to get the best outcome possible.
Autism and the Criminal Justice System
People with autism are generally less likely to commit criminal offences, but in our experience they can get in to difficulties with certain areas of the law – notably computer related crime, or offences involving the misunderstanding of social relationships. We are experts in cases involving harassment, grooming or indecent images. We can also assist with cases where an autistic person has been susceptible to cyber-radicalisation, leading to terrorism offences, or driven by a wish to prove something, leading to computer hacking offences without realising the implications.
Specialist Criminal Lawyers with Autism Awareness
Alex Preston leads the team here who deal with autistic clients. She sits on the Criminal Justice Panel at the National Autistic Society and has delivered training to solicitors, barrister, judges and other criminal justice professionals on autism and vulnerable clients.