1999 Florida Code
Chapter 916 Mentally Deficient and Mentally Ill Defendants  
916.3012   Mental competence to proceed.

916.3012  Mental competence to proceed.--

(1)  A defendant whose suspected mental condition is retardation or autism is incompetent to proceed within the meaning of this chapter if the defendant does not have sufficient present ability to consult with the defendant's lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding or if the defendant has no rational, as well as factual, understanding of the proceedings against the defendant.

(2)  The experts shall first consider whether the defendant meets the definition of retardation or autism and, if so, consider the factors related to the issue of whether the defendant meets the criteria for competence to proceed; that is, whether the defendant has sufficient present ability to consult with counsel with a reasonable degree of rational understanding and whether the defendant has a rational, as well as factual, understanding of the pending proceedings.

(3)  In considering the issue of competence to proceed, the examining experts shall first consider and specifically include in their report the defendant's capacity to:

(a)  Appreciate the charges or allegations against the defendant;

(b)  Appreciate the range and nature of possible penalties, if applicable, that may be imposed in the proceedings against the defendant;

(c)  Understand the adversarial nature of the legal process;

(d)  Disclose to counsel facts pertinent to the proceedings at issue;

(e)  Manifest appropriate courtroom behavior; and

(f)  Testify relevantly;

and include in their report any other factor deemed relevant by the experts.

(4)  If the experts should find that the defendant is incompetent to proceed, the experts shall report on any recommended training for the defendant to attain competence to proceed. In considering the issues relating to training, the examining experts shall specifically report on:

(a)  The retardation or autism causing the incompetence;

(b)  The training appropriate for the retardation or autism of the defendant and an explanation of each of the possible training alternatives in order of choices;

(c)  The availability of acceptable training and, if training is available in the community, the expert shall so state in the report; and

(d)  The likelihood of the defendant's attaining competence under the training recommended, an assessment of the probable duration of the training required to restore competence, and the probability that the defendant will attain competence to proceed in the foreseeable future.

History.--s. 24, ch. 98-92.

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