Kate Lovelace, Esquire
Jennifer Evashavik, Esquire
Virtual Workshop via Zoom
Sometimes it can be difficult to know when and how to contact an attorney if an autistic person has an interaction with police. It is important to understand your rights regardless of any diagnosis, but especially critical to have an opportunity to get legal and procedural advice from someone other than the arresting officer. Many officers in Allegheny County have been trained in tips for dealing with autistic people, many have not and some simply do not understand the role autism might play into confessions, competency, and other legal matters. Take an opportunity to ask questions, pose scenarios, and listen to stories of how autism has played into criminal charges and what options lie ahead for those defendants. To that extent, there are a variety of “mental health” options in Allegheny County. While some options may be appropriate, there is often a misconception about Mental Health Court, which is almost never appropriate for a person with autism. Learn more about Competency, Justice Related Services, Mental Health Court, and Torrance Hospital, and the Behavioral Assessment Unit (or Behavior Clinic) at the Allegheny County Jail.
Kate Lovelace is an attorney and advocate licensed to practice law in Colorado since 2005 and Pennsylvania since 2009. Kate graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999 with a BS in Social Policy. She went on to attend the Heinz School at Carnegie Mellon where she earned her Master’s in Public Management with highest academic distinction. In 2016, Kate left the public defender’s office and now has a small private practice doing primarily criminal defense.
Jennifer Evashavik is a graduate of University of Pittsburgh law school and a former Allegheny County assistant district attorney, Evashavik set up her own practice as a criminal defense attorney. She also specializes in difficulties special-needs individuals can have dealing with the legal system. She has been a speaker to parent and law enforcement groups.
At the conclusion of this program participants will be able to:
- discuss the ways autism may play into criminal charges
- talk about what options may exist for autistic defendants
- define competency