Legal question.

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For any legal minds in here.
My wife has advanced frontaltemporal dementia. She was recently given a summons because of a neighbor who calls the cops on everyone and everything, and she rang his doorbell. She was cited for trespassing. We have to go to court on June 18th. I have a POA. We are not using a lawyer.
Can someone plead not guilty due to mental impairment?
I am not interested in anything less than a dismissal. Full disclosure, she rang his doorbell on 4/11, then again on 5/16. The 1st time they gave her a warning.
Most of the time she can be supervised, but in this case, I turned my back for just a couple minutes.
She is almost completely non verbal and cannot answer even simple questions(she gets her name right maybe 20 percent of the time).
Any advice would be appreciated.
 
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For any legal minds in here.

My wife has advanced frontaltemporal dementia. She was recently given a summons because of a neighbor who calls the cops on everyone and everything, and she rang his doorbell. She was cited for trespassing. We have to go to court on June 18th. I have a POA. We are not using a lawyer. Can someone plead not guilty due to mental impairment?

I am not interested in anything less than a dismissal. Full disclosure, she rang his doorbell on 4/11, then again on 5/16. The 1st time they gave her a warning.
Can I ask what town/city we are talking about here...
 
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What a horrible neighbor. We've been in your position (with parents) and even the malcontents in the neighborhood looked out for this kind of situation. Hard to believe the police aren't already trained to address this situation since a regular part of the job these days is dealing with elders with diminished capability.

Then again, we had a difficult time having my parent's driving license taken away. There were no laws in Connecticut to take a license away once granted. We had to resort to other means (a police friend, ahem).
 

HuskyHawk

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What an idiot. This link may be helpful. A Guide to Colorado "Trespassing Laws" - definition, penalties, defenses

The actual statute. Colorado Revised Statutes Title 18 Criminal Code § 18-4-502

I find it hard to imagine that criminal trespass can occur for walking up a walk to someone's door and ringing a doorbell, unless done repeatedly for the purpose of harassment.
 
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I think the prosecutor needs to be educated...

Your wife appears to have bvFTD, a type of dementia called behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia....and socially inappropriate actions are common...and legal trouble is not uncommon.

For a minor offense such as you described...a letter to the court from the appropriate medical professional usually results in dropped charges.
 
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I think the prosecutor needs to be educated...

Your wife appears to have bvFTD, a type of dementia called behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia....and socially inappropriate actions are common...and legal trouble is not uncommon.

For a minor offense such as you described...a letter to the court from the appropriate medical professional usually results in dropped charges.
Yes it is BVFTD...stage 7. So I am hoping common sense prevails.
 

8893

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Criminal laws vary by state, and enforcement of them varies by prosecutor/judge/courthouse. I would suggest getting a referral to a criminal lawyer who practices in that courthouse. If the neighbor wants to push it you may get resistance to a dismissal without some conditions. A practical lawyer should be able to get a practical result.
 
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FTD is not really treatable and is a progressive disease....my thoughts are with you..

An insidious disease...cancer, to me, holds much less fear.
My friend and I were talking the other day. In 2005 she was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma - and her odds were 20% to live 9 months or more. She beat that, only to get this.
 
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Criminal laws vary by state, and enforcement of them varies by prosecutor/judge/courthouse. I would suggest getting a referral to a criminal lawyer who practices in that courthouse. If the neighbor wants to push it you may get resistance to a dismissal without some conditions. A practical lawyer should be able to get a practical result.
Yeah, having dealt with courts in the past, they are highly aware of their conviction rates.
 
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There is really no "insanity defense" for this...the courts have found that the person knows what they are doing..and knows it is wrong.

The FTD just removes caring about whether it is right or wrong...that part of our frontal lobe socializes us.

The court would probably like to hear that some additional safeguards were being taken so that the neighbor would be reassurred...but your wife can not be "rehabilitated" nor would the court have any pressing need to make her a criminal.

Common sense, with such a minor offense, should come into play.
 
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Criminal laws vary by state, and enforcement of them varies by prosecutor/judge/courthouse. I would suggest getting a referral to a criminal lawyer who practices in that courthouse. If the neighbor wants to push it you may get resistance to a dismissal without some conditions. A practical lawyer should be able to get a practical result.
Here is my reality. I have had to cut back at work to deal with her, and even with good insurance, the medical bills are unreal. I called a few lawyers,,,,lowest was 1200, IF we don't go to trial. Additionally a diagnosis around 18 months ago projected her to live around 2 years. Based on her progressing deterioration, that seems pretty realistic. So I decided to go it alone.
The letter explains her condition in detail. So i will try that. I suppose I can always request a continuance and go back with a lawyer.
 

TRest

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Here is my reality. I have had to cut back at work to deal with her, and even with good insurance, the medical bills are unreal. I called a few lawyers,,,,lowest was 1200, IF we don't go to trial. Additionally a diagnosis around 18 months ago projected her to live around 2 years. Based on her progressing deterioration, that seems pretty realistic. So I decided to go it alone.
The letter explains her condition in detail. So i will try that. I suppose I can always request a continuance and go back with a lawyer.
One thing I did not consider is whether a criminal court will honor a POA when trying to act as a pro se. The POA allows you to handle her financial/health decisions, I assume, but I don't know if it can operate in the same manner when you are trying to present a criminal defense as a non-lawyer.
 
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Can't imagine this being prosecuted, especially with a letter from her doctor explaining your wife's condition. You might want to try to talk to a court clerk or a prosecutor ahead of the appearance date, at least they could excuse your wife's appearance in court.
 
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For any legal minds in here.
My wife has advanced frontaltemporal dementia. She was recently given a summons because of a neighbor who calls the cops on everyone and everything, and she rang his doorbell. She was cited for trespassing. We have to go to court on June 18th. I have a POA. We are not using a lawyer.
Can someone plead not guilty due to mental impairment?
I am not interested in anything less than a dismissal. Full disclosure, she rang his doorbell on 4/11, then again on 5/16. The 1st time they gave her a warning.
Most of the time she can be supervised, but in this case, I turned my back for just a couple minutes.
She is almost completely non verbal and cannot answer even simple questions(she gets her name right maybe 20 percent of the time).
Any advice would be appreciated.
No legal expertise but sorry to hear of your circumstances. Bring the only caregiver while working full time or close to full time is not easy, I did it for 5 years. Stay strong -
 
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There is really no "insanity defense" for this...the courts have found that the person knows what they are doing..and knows it is wrong.

The FTD just removes caring about whether it is right or wrong...that part of our frontal lobe socializes us.

The court would probably like to hear that some additional safeguards were being taken so that the neighbor would be reassurred...but your wife can not be "rehabilitated" nor would the court have any pressing need to make her a criminal.

Common sense, with such a minor offense, should come into play.
Here is what the letter says. "This is a form of dementia that is characterized by impairments in judgement, impulsivity, impairments in communication, and difficulties with thinking and memory".
so it would not be insanity, but diminished capacity. The letter goes on to state he does not believe she be reasonably held accountable for many of her actions due to her underlying medical condition.
So based on that...??? Either way, we can put her on the stand, and watch her try to get up every few seconds, and not be able to answer even a single question. I am guessing we could shame the courts.
 

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