Competency or Fitness Evaluation
What is competency to stand trial or fitness to stand trial?
Competency or Fitness in mental health field refers to the current (today’s) mental capacity. Competency to stand trial is the most familiar question raised, however, there are other types of competency, such as competency to represent one’s self, competency to plea, competency to be sentenced, and competency to be executed.
Competency issue can be raised at any time during a criminal proceeding when the defendant is thought to have a limited rational and factual understanding of one’s charges or the legal process, or unable to communicate with counsel.
When one’s competency is doubted, the one is court-ordered a competency evaluation. Such evaluation can be performed by a psychiatrist or psychologist. State statutes and language used in talking about competency varies across different states.
Please contact us to find out more information on the competency to stand trial standard for your state.