Do aspies tend to have trouble with the law?

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swbluto
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07 Sep 2011, 9:30 am

Well, do they?



DownrangeFuture
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07 Sep 2011, 9:42 am

Well, the ones I know don't. Generally, the problem on the higher end seems to be the arbitrary nature of some laws. But with good parenting, children can quickly learn that breaking the rules isn't good, even if they don't understand or agree with them.

As you go further on the spectrum, compulsiveness can become an issue. Also comorbid conditions can cause issues with the law.

But I don't imagine most people with purely AS would have issues. They'd have to leave the house for most of them, and besides breaking the law means you'll have to deal with strange people, and maybe even locked up with strangers.

That's too scary for me to do things wrong. Even if I find the law stupid at times.



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07 Sep 2011, 9:51 am

I have been sectioned by the police under the Mental Health Act 4 times in the last few years, but that's not a criminal conviction (although it does come up on my enhanced criminal records check for some reason). However I don't know whether my catastrophic reaction to the police approaching me (I ended up with three officers holding me down and one handcuffing me) was purely the schizophrenia reaction (I thought the officers were "Government Spies" coming to kill me) or mostly being ill but partly an AS meltdown due to being manhandled.....


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nemorosa
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07 Sep 2011, 10:12 am

I was arrested for trying to harm myself, but I was never charged with any offence. All the same, not a very pleasant experience and I wouldn't recommend being held in a cell for 13 hours with absolutely nothing to do to anyone.



Callista
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07 Sep 2011, 10:51 am

No. Criminal convictions for people with Asperger's are slightly (though not significantly) lower than for NTs. For people with autism in general, they are a lot lower.


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07 Sep 2011, 11:04 am

DownrangeFuture wrote:
Well, the ones I know don't. Generally, the problem on the higher end seems to be the arbitrary nature of some laws. But with good parenting, children can quickly learn that breaking the rules isn't good, even if they don't understand or agree with them.

As you go further on the spectrum, compulsiveness can become an issue. Also comorbid conditions can cause issues with the law.

But I don't imagine most people with purely AS would have issues. They'd have to leave the house for most of them, and besides breaking the law means you'll have to deal with strange people, and maybe even locked up with strangers.

That's too scary for me to do things wrong. Even if I find the law stupid at times.


That is how my mom tried raising me, but with my high intelligence it is hard for me to obey things I don't understand or agree with without question. There are some laws I disagree with and don't worry too much about following...but I feel I have decent enough morals I think everyone should be able to have the right to do what they want unless they are causing unessisary harm to others. So I don't go out and cause trouble because there is no need for that.

My dad really did not care about that, so i had one parent raising me one way and one parent doing the opposite, It was one of those if mom says no lets go ask dad senerios growing up.



kx250rider
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07 Sep 2011, 11:23 am

We tend to be targeted by police for the reason that we act different, and unfortunately, there is some narrow-mindedness in the training of police officers which doesn't always account for autism and Asperger's. We might be minding our own business, and accidentally make a body language faux pas, which prompts the police to think we've just robbed a store, or something. For the life of me I have no idea how it happens, but it does. On many occasions, I get pulled over by the sheriffs deputies while driving, for "appearing out-of-place", or for no reason at all, and asked a million rude questions. Once, I was even stopped because I had a big box of old broadcast videotapes in my truck, and they thought I looked like a child porn freak, and wanted to know if it was child porn on the tapes :roll: . In fact, it was old TV commercials from the 1970s from the basement of the KTLA studio in Hollywood. Jeeeez. Wasted 45 minutes of my time and the officer's, and I'm curious how many drunk drivers weren't stopped while I was proving I'm not a freak.

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07 Sep 2011, 12:45 pm

Yes and no. Aspies are known as rule followers so they are unlikely to break the law. But however they are likely to be targeted by police and manipulated. They are likely to be taken advantage of being tricked.



abyssquick
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07 Sep 2011, 1:17 pm

I get harassed by police frequently for appearing odd, walking at odd times of day. I've been threatened with arrest a few times. For what reasons I cannot understand.



DownrangeFuture
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07 Sep 2011, 1:47 pm

abyssquick wrote:
I get harassed by police frequently for appearing odd, walking at odd times of day. I've been threatened with arrest a few times. For what reasons I cannot understand.


I got that once for suspected drunk driving. They made me sit in the back of the car because I was weird. Apparently you're supposed to laugh when they add "Dead bodies" to the list of contraband they're asking if you have in your car. Or at least act mortified. So I got to sit in the back of his car while they ran a full background check on me and did a thorough inspection of my car.

And I've been stopped a few times walking because I wouldn't maintain eye contact with the officer. Those are always nice though. He asks for my ID, one stays to attempt civil conversation while the other walks away, to run my background check I assume.

And once because I was going the speed limit on my motorcycle. Apparently riding the speed limit at 4am in 48F weather means you probably stole the bike. :roll:



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07 Sep 2011, 2:02 pm

swbluto wrote:
Well, do they?


I never have, and for this case in particular it really wouldn't be right to generalise.


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07 Sep 2011, 2:32 pm

League_Girl wrote:
Yes and no. Aspies are known as rule followers so they are unlikely to break the law. But however they are likely to be targeted by police and manipulated. They are likely to be taken advantage of being tricked.


Well crap in that case I don't want a diagnoses.......if it would make me known as a rule follower, sure some rules are good but to defined as a rule follower who no doubt does not question anything is hardly appealing.



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07 Sep 2011, 2:48 pm

That's not quite true. Aspies have a tendency to follow rules, but we have to agree with and understand them. When we break rules, it tends to be a conscious choice--because we think the rules are nonsensical, unethical, or unfair. The "rule-following" tendency actually has little to do with being subservient to authority figures; it has much more to do with wanting a predictable environment. An Aspie who is visiting a library is likely to stay quiet and get irritated at others who talk loudly; this is a rule that makes sense. But say that there is a rule that people under the age of 13 cannot check out books from the adult section of the library--that is a rule that is likely to irritate him, because it does not make sense, and especially if he is under 13 and looking for books on his special interest, having read everything the children's section has to offer long ago.

The rules we follow most closely are the ones we make for ourselves. That helps us keep our lives straight. These rules, like most rules, are not meant to restrict, but to guide. For example, I always do laundry on Sundays. I've done it that way for a long time, and it ensures I always have clean clothes. Following that rule makes sense and helps me.

If someone made an arbitrary rule that I thought was nonsensical, I probably wouldn't follow it. If I thought it was downright unfair, I'd protest.


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07 Sep 2011, 2:59 pm

Aspies are about as likely to break the law as NTs, though we're less likely to break traffic laws and more likely to commit arson (all other crimes are same frequency).

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that AS people may break the law for different reasons - many crimes committed by AS individuals have been related to special interests. For example, one guy who was obsessed with trains was arrested for driving a train without a license. My guess is this is probably also why arson is more common in AS, because most arsonists (AS or not) do it out of a fascination with fire. (Stalking may be more common in AS due to poor social skills and person-focused obsessions, though I haven't seen any data about this.)

AS people may be more likely to have trouble with police because atypical body language may lead police to think the person is either acting suspicious or under the effects of some kind of substance (especially if their communication skills break down under stress). And police don't understand what sets off AS people and may do things that provoke a meltdown (eg grabbing the person) and then interpret the meltdown as 'resisting arrest' and react with force. Many autism organizations suggest carrying an ID card with information about AS to give to police or emergency workers for this reason.



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07 Sep 2011, 3:05 pm

I'd guess that statistically aspies are wrongly accused, wrongly convicted and /or wrongly suspected......... at rates much much higher than non as suspects

So, yeah I think aspies do have **trouble** with the law

Historically, aspies have been framed by clever NT's who see them as an easy target

Family court proceedings, separations and divorce's with kids will often see an aspie spouse get f****d over unfairly by clever lawyers and angry NT other halves