Mental Health & The Law: Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyer Speaks at the 2018 Florida Behavioral Health Conference

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Adam Rossen speaks at a Florida State mental health conference about the importance of therapists and criminal lawyers working together for the best outcomes for their clientsIn August 2018, Adam went up to Orlando to speak at the Florida Behavioral Health Conference. He discussed the importance of a partnership between criminal defense attorneys and mental health clinicians for the betterment of the client. The event was a great success and Adam was able to give the same presentation to a group of local attorneys here in South Florida as well. 

He's put together two insightful articles on the experience.

1 - Why Criminal Defense Attorneys & Mental Health Professionals Need to Work Together 

Rossen Law Firm has long been an advocate for the importance of mental health professionals and criminal defense attorneys forming a partnership to help benefit our mutual clients both in the here & now, but also for the indefinite future.

A considerable number of defendants in the criminal justice system have a mental illness or a substance abuse disorder. The Florida Bar reports:

  • 17% of adults booked into jails have a serious mental illness
  • 65% of adults in the US Corrections systems have a substance use disorder
  • 72% of adults with serious mental illnesses in jail also have co-occurring substance use disorders

When a person is facing criminal charges from an arrest & also battles an addiction or a mental illness, they need both legal protection & treatment. These are the two pillars that together ensure this person’s best chance at achieving their best future.

2- How Lawyers can Help Mental Health Professionals 

When it comes to forming partnerships with mental health professionals and criminal defense attorneys, we truly believe it is a "two-way street."

We love when we're able to refer a client to a trusted mental health professional, and we equally love when we can be an aid to a mental health professional who may have a client struggling with a legal issue.

  • Education on the Criminal Justice Process from Arrest to Court Proceedings
    • It's important to realize that the typical arrest process is not designed with a person who has a mental illness in mind.
  • Understanding the Nuances of the Specialized Courts
    • We have two types of mental health court in Florida, one is for misdemeanors & one is for felonies.
    • Its focus is on treatment, as opposed to punishment.
  • Crafting Letters on Behalf of Patients
  • Often, when a defendant is mentally ill, the judge will require a letter from a therapist detailing exactly what treatment the person needs.

Reach out if you are a Mental Health Professional in South Florida,  or someone with a mental illness that was charged with a crime in South Florida  

If you are a mental health professional and have any clients with legal issues, reach out to Adam for help with any questions. He can help guide you through the process. Rossen Law Firm began offering Baker Act and Marchman Act services in 2021.

Call Rossen Law Firm's Offices to arrange a free consultation, or to chat with an attorney about forming a relationship if you are a clinical in the South Florida area. 

Give us a call today to make an appointment for a free consultation: