Coral Gables Criminal Defense Lawyer Michelle Estlund recognizes that mental health conditions often motivate the behavior that results in clients being arrested.  For example, people who have served tours of duty for our military in combat zones or other high-stress situations may return with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or other diagnosable conditions due to their experiences in the military.

When these conditions lead to criminal behavior, Michelle Estlund understands that educating the prosecutors and the judge about her client’s condition is critical to obtaining a favorable outcome in the case.

Michelle Estlund works with psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed mental health counselors to obtain information about the client’s diagnosis and recommended course of treatment, and presents that information to the court. Most judges are now have received at least some training regarding the possible effects of military service on our veterans, and provides them with the information that will allow them and prosecutors to treat veterans’ cases as opportunities to treat mental health conditions rather than to view the veteran as a criminal.

Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia

Some clients have a history of slightly unusual, but socially acceptable behavior until their late teens or early twenties, when an episode of highly unusual and criminal behavior occurs.  Often in these cases, the clients have had underlying mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia that have gone undiagnosed.

It can be particularly difficult for clients to accept the fact that they have such a diagnosis, but once the diagnosis is made and a treatment plan is in place, the clients often find that they have a renewed ability to stabilize their lives, maintain employment, and avoid the behaviors that resulted in a criminal arrest.

Anxiety, and Depression

Clients who have been arrested for drug offenses often suffer from anxiety or depression, and are using illegal substances or illegally obtaining legal substances as a means of self-medicating to find relief from the symptoms of their illnesses.  Michelle Estlund works with these clients to determine the underlying problem that motivates the self-medication, and determines the best means of resolving the criminal case while also treating the client’s condition.