Is WA state allowed to prosecute suicidal people with mental illness?

Asked over 2 years ago - Everett, WA

Is WA state allowed to prosecute suicidal people with mental illness (documented, declared by state) who were under the influence of anti-depressant drugs at the time of an incident-say it was petty thieft, an incident that wouldn't have occured if not for those prescribed drugs? (they have proof they were on the prescribed meds at the time, as well as no criminal record before/afterwords) What would happen if this person were to committ suicide because of this?

Additional information

This person also had not left the store before they were grabbed, the loss prevention employees sent in a false report saying the person had left the store. The loss prevention also took a bra off of the person-the person's own property they paid for. Please answer soon.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Adrian Martinez Madrone


    Contributor Level 14
    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . Yes, the state can prosecute people with mental illness. However, a defense attorney may be able to use the issue of mental illness as part of a defense to the charges.

    To answer your question "What would happen if this person were to commit suicide because of this?" I would say probably not much. A prosecutor is not likely to dismiss charges just because a person is threatening to harm themselves. And, if a prosecutor is simply doing their job in filing criminal charges, they are unlikely to get in trouble just because a defendant harms themselves.

    Nevertheless, a defense attorney would want to know if there is a possibility of their client being suicidal in order to assess how to best help that person. If charges get filed, I would recommend that this be one of the first issue brought to the defense attorney's attention.

  2. Shawn B Alexander


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . The short answer is yes, but there may be some defenses if there was involuntary intoxication. If the person committed suicide then the prosecution will close the case because it would be moot.
    Good Luck

    Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are... more

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