A section 14 order was previously know/ referred as a section 32 application and or mental health order pursuant to Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 NSW. This section is now replaced with Section 14 of the Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act 2020 NSW.

When can a section 14 order be applied?

Section 14 orders are only available in summary criminal proceedings or indictable offences dealt with summarily.

Such an application be brought and granted if it appears that the defendant has, or had at the time of the alleged offence, a mental health impairment, a cognitive impairment, or both.  

A person has a mental health impairment if they have a temporary or ongoing disturbance of thought, mood or perception, which is clinically significant and impairs the emotional wellbeing, judgment or behaviour of the person. This can include:

  • An anxiety disorder.
  • An affective disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder.
  • A psychotic disorder.
  • A substance induced mental disorder that is not temIt does not include a mental health impairment caused solely by the temporary effect of ingesting a substance, or a substance use disorder.

A person has a cognitive impairment if they have an ongoing impairment in adaptive functioning, comprehension, reason, judgment, learning or memory, and the impairment results from damage to or dysfunction, developmental delay or deterioration of the person’s brain or mind. A cognitive impairment may arise from any of the following conditions:

  • Intellectual disability.
  • Borderline intellectual functioning.
  • Dementia.
  • An acquired brain injury.
  • Drug or alcohol-related brain damage.
  • Autism spectrum disorder.

Will it be on your criminal record?

A defendant granted this order will not receive a criminal conviction.

If you or anyone you know would like to apply for Section 14 Mental Health Application, call Criminal Lawyers Sydney anytime on (02) 91528619 to arrange a free first conference with an highly experienced criminal defence lawyer who will review your case and advise you of your options and the best way forward.