The courts and mental health
What does ‘unfit to plead’ mean?
If you cannot understand the meaning of the charge against you, what the pleas of ‘guilty’ and ‘not guilty’ mean, or cannot instruct a lawyer to represent you, the court may take medical evidence to find out whether you are unfit to plead.
If it decides you did do the crime, the court can:
- give you a hospital order under section 37 or 37/41
- give you a supervision order for up to two years, which means that you will have to get support or treatment
- end the prosecution by giving you an absolute discharge