An individual who is charged with a crime may have their mental or emotional state considered in the pre-trial or pre-sentencing phase. A psychological evaluation may be requested be either by an attorney or the court may order a court ordered psychological evaluation. The psychological evaluation would ultimately serve as a means to clarify the role the mental or emotional factors may have had in reference to the alleged crime.
Court ordered psychological evaluations may be a critical part in one’s defense. To obtain such an evaluation, a referral should be made to a licensed psychologist who has had experience in doing such evaluations.
The follow are a couple of examples of court ordered psychological evaluations that PsychCare psychologists are trained to conduct:
Competency to Stand Trial Evaluation
This particular type of court ordered evaluation is designed to determine whether an individual has sufficient understanding of legal/court proceedings, and is able to assist in his/her defense. This type of evaluation is typically indicated when there is some question regarding whether an individual is able to understand the legal process well enough to be involved in his/her defense in a legal case. This comes into question when an individual is too mentally ill to participate in the legal process or work with his/her attorney to build a defense. At PsychCare several of our staff are forensic psychologists, that are highly trained and experienced to conduct this court ordered psychological evaluation through psychological testing, record review, and a clinical interview.
Criminal Responsibility Evaluation
This evaluation addresses the issue of whether an individual was suffering from a mental illness at the time of his/her offense, and whether the mental illness impacted the individual’s behavior at the time of the offense. This type of evaluation is typically indicated when there are concerns that an individual’s criminal behavior was affected by a mental illness. If an individual was mentally ill at the time that he/ she committed a crime, the individual may be found Not Criminally Responsible. In the State of Maryland, a finding of Not Criminally Responsible results in hospitalization for treatment of a mental illness rather than incarceration.