Insane Automatism:  

  • Your actions were caused by an already underlying unhealthy mind such as schizophrenia and is prone to recur; and those actions were not voluntary due to a that mental illness.
  • The mental illness caused you to not know the nature and quality of your actions, if however, you did, you could not appreciate the wrongness of your actions at the relevant time.

If the above elements are proven, then you will be successful on a Special Verdict of Not Guilty by reasons of mental illness. Your charges will be dismissed; however, you will likely be detained in a Forensic Unit as a Forensic Patient for an indefinite period of time. The Mental Health Review Tribunal will assess your ongoing mental health and determine when you are eligible for release into the community. The release however will come with treatment orders.

Sane Automatism:

  • Your actions were not voluntary i.e., due to dissociation caused by a severe psychological blow, PTSD, or other “external factor” where your reaction was from a healthy mind, and the dissociation was caused by an external factor which was temporary and not prone to recur; and
  • At the time you were unconscious, and didn’t know what you were doing; and
  • The dissociation causing the involuntary action was not due to an underlying mental illness

‘External Factors’ include where you have suffered an adverse reaction to prescribed medication, where you were having an epileptic fit, or blacked out with no recollection of what happened, or you were sleepwalking.

If the above elements are proven, then you will be successful on a Special Verdict of Not Guilty verdict by reasons of mental illness.