Drug Charges – Accused With Mental Illness

Mental IllnessThis is a case involving drug charges against an accused with mental illness.

Police conducted a search of the premises that our client was staying at and located large quantities of drugs. This had caused for our client to be charged with trafficking in methylamphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamine. It was also alleged that he had approximately $5,000 in cash on him.

Kristina Kothrakis represented the client at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. The charges involved were:

It became clear once we started speaking with the client during our initial conference that he was a person suffering from a serious mental illness. He has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and drug induced psychosis which has required periods of hospitalisation. Due to the level his illness was still impacting his life, we thought that the ARC (Assessment and Referral Court) program would be a more appropriate way for him to have his matter dealt with. The ARC program deals specifically with accused people who have either serious mental illnesses or intellectual disabilities.

After producing material to the court outlining the level of the client’s illness, he was accepted onto the program. He presented to the court on a monthly basis for around 14 months. He engaged thoroughly with his case manager and remained drug-free and offence-free for the entire period of the program.

Where a person performs well on ARC, the law says that the sentencing magistrate can take it into account in their favour when sentencing. In this case, our client performed extremely well. Where he would ordinarily have been imprisoned for a significant period of time, he was spared gaol and was instead placed on a Community Corrections Order.

This was a successful result for a case of multiple drug charges wherein the accused has mental illness.


Kristina KothrakisKristina Kothrakis

Kristina has significant experience in criminal trials and also holds a degree in Science, majoring in Psychology, an invaluable area of knowledge, as many of her clients suffer from psychological disorders.

Kristina strives to achieve the best possible result for all her clients. Skilled, decisive and assertive, Kristina demonstrates dedication, care and professionalism at all times.

Visit Kristina’s profile to read more about her background and experience.

DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 05/12/2017