There has been relatively limited research focus on autism in the context of the criminal justice system. The relationship between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and criminal responsibility is complex. Furthermore, the features inherent to ASD can have a significant bearing on a wide array of other issues in this context including police interviewing, fitness to be tried, culpability and the appropriateness of custodial disposal. This review explores the background to our understanding of ASD, patterns of offending behaviour and the nature of the relationship between this and characteristic ASD deficits. The clinical and legal challenges posed by ASD defendants in terms of identification, assessment and on a broader service level as they negotiate the criminal justice system are highlighted to illustrate the varied difficulties they may encounter and to draw attention to this field as a worthy area of research and training for the medical, legal and law enforcement professions.