If I was arrested for retail theft when I was on a strong mix of medication that has side effects such as “speratic behavior”, can I use this in court?

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If I was arrested for retail theft when I was on a strong mix of medication that has side effects such as “speratic behavior”, can I use this in court?

I was arrested for retail theft when I was on several high dosage medications that have known side effects such as manic behavior, halucinations, etc.. I want to know if I can use this in my defense on my case? I have records of the medications I was on, their side effects, and my medical records at the time stating to my doctor that I was experiancing severe side effects. I can’t speak with my public defender until the day before my court hearing.

Asked on June 7, 2012 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This issue in a retail theft case is whether or not you took or stole items from a store that were open to public sale without the intent to pay for them. This means that you at some point left the store or attempted to leave the store without any intentions to pay for the items. Your medical condition could be used as a defense, but typically you would need some medical documentation or support such as a doctor who deals with your type or condition or a psychiatrist who can state that persons with your condition are prone to this type of behavior without intending to violate the law based on your actions.


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