A Criminal Defense Lawyer in Mattoon IL and Clients With Parasomnia

One of the more unusual strategies used by a criminal defense lawyer in Mattoon, IL, is to focus on a sleeping disorder that sometimes is connected with violent behavior. This isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem. A study published in 2019 reports that about 2 percent of the population exhibits violent behavior during sleep at one time or another.


These disorders, known collectively as parasomnia, are classified under a broad range of diagnoses. Some persons inflict self-harm and others attack another individual. Self-harm behavior, in particular, tends to be repeated.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an underlying condition reported in some of these cases. A man or woman might sleepwalk while believing enemy forces are approaching. This type of behavior is known as trauma-associated sleep disorder, or TSD. The client would need to have been diagnosed with PTSD by a medical professional or clinical psychologist for this to be an effective strategy in court. A criminal defense lawyer in Mattoon, IL, then could make the case for this extenuating circumstance.

An Important Consideration

An important consideration is that a person who is aware that he or she sleepwalks is expected to avoid activity that leads to this problem. A defense lawyer will have more trouble achieving a positive outcome for a client who knows that sleepwalking often occurs after drinking alcohol or taking a certain sleep medication but continues to do so.

Anyone needing legal defense because of a violent act committed during sleepwalking may contact Britton Law Offices, LLC after reading about the organization at http://brittonlawoffices.com/. You can connect with them on Facebook for more updates!

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