In all candor, this question calls for a lot of answering.....LOL. I will give you an overview, but if he or she has an assistant public defender assigned to the case, I would first ask whether or not you have discussed this matter with him or her, and if so, what aspect of the answer or answers received called for additional clarification (assuming that some or all did). Further, if that was the case did you request that he or she revisit the issue or issues with you until you had a level of understanding with which you were satisfied.
My perspective of the role that my colleagues and I play in terms of the law; the public; and the process is flexible in large part, but I do not like to answer questions that seems to call for a rebuttal to an answer previously provided by whomever is providing representation to a given individual. In other words, I am not here to second guess counsel of records, or to armchair quarterback. I think many would agree with the sentiment. Furthermore, as a former Assistant Public Defender, who, it is my absolutely firm belief, never gave less than 100% to his clients, I would not have wanted to be second guessed, just for sport. Now, if the issue is that you have made a bona fide effort to secure information and have been unable to open a line of communication, that may be a problem. May be. There are times when not enough patience is afforded APD's who are generally speaking, inundated with clients and cases.
To give you a general overview, there is no diagnosis -- however severe; chronic; acute, for that matter; or otherwise of such nature that it makes reality difficult with which to connect, or the most simple tasks overwhelming at times, that, although something with which all of us, I am sure, have some working familiarity in former or current clients, and for which disease processes' sufferers we all have great sympathy -- which results in dismissal of charges upon confirmation of said diagnosis, or, in other words, the existence of said disease process at work in a terribly troubled individual which simply makes it go away. That is, unless you have an incredibly sympathetic Assistant State Attorney with whom you have an incredible and lengthy working relationship and he or she grants you a once in a career "gift" which is through you conferred upon your client. In short, it doesn't work like that.
There are two ways which the demonstrated existence of a mental illness or disorder affecting an individual's ability to assist in his or her defense, or which may have rendered that individual unable to distinguish between right and wrong and to furthermore at the time of the commission of the offense have hindered or negated his or her ability to understand how his or her actions and/or omissions would have led as a consequence of those acts or omissions to the injury or harm suffered by the alleged victim of the alleged offense at issue. If the latter was the case, it may lead one to pursue a defense of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity or Lessened Mental Capacity (note that laws; burdens; standards and manners of proof all vary significantly from state to state. In the case of the former troubling situation, if an individual Defendant can not assist in the preparation and development of his or her defense, the Defendant, through his or her counsel, may wish to seek a declaration that he or she is unable to stand trial at the moment as a consequence of his or her lack of capacity, again, as it relates to the ability to assist counsel in any meangful way in formulating a defense.
Note that in either instance, the remedy is not dismissal of the charges against the Defendant, irrespective of the severity of the mental illness or disorder at issue which is or at the time had impacted the Defendant and his or her actions; the restraint exerted as to same; his or perception of the causal relationship which may have existed between his or her actions and injury or harm which resulted
We are pleased to offer a free thirty (30) minute initial telephone consultation, or, if possible, will attempt to schedule a free thirty (30) minute initial office consultation. Neither this offer of a free initial consultation, nor the mere fact that the initial consultation may have ultimately been conducted, whether telephonically or at our office location, should be construed; assumed; interpreted; or understood by any individual who was granted a free initial consultation for which no consideration of any sort whatsoever was tendered, to have formed or created an attorney-client relationship, or to have created any obligations owed by the attorney or attorney's firm to any individual who was given a free initial consultation, by the mere undertaking of the free initial consultation for which no consideration of any sort was tendered to attorney or attorney's firm. The formation of an attorney-client relationship occurs through the process of negotiation between the prospective parties, the individual seeking legal representation, and the attorney, acting individually, or as an agent of a firm (the capacity in which the attorney is acting shall be disclosed to prospective client, if negotiations for legal representation in exchange for good and valuable consideration are undertaken by the prospective client and the attorney. If agreement is reached by and between the parties for legal representation after the mutually satisfactory negotiation of the agreement for legal representation, and all of its individual terms; the scope of representation to be provided by the attorney to the prospective client has been delineated to the mutual satisfaction of the parties; the manner of payment of good and valuable consideration by the prospective client to the attorney has been determined; and it has been conceded by the parties that all of those factors upon which agreement had been reached by the parties and which were recited herein, had been agreed upon by the parties only after careful consideration and sufficient review of the document styled Agreement for Legal Representation, and after it has likewise been conceded by the parties that each respectively had been presented with the opportunity to have the document reviewed independently by each respective party's personal attorney, or any other attorney of his or her chooosing. If the Agreement for Legal Representation contains terms regarding contingency fee agreement or agreements for payment to the attorney for all or a portion of his or her services and legal representation on behalf of the Client, Client concedes that he or she has been presented with an additional document entitled "Statement of Client's Rights", which is a document created by the Florida Bar and approved for use in matters in which payment in full or part, is tendered by contingency fee agreement. Please note that any commentary or response offered through this site is based on the limited set of facts and background data supplied by the individual framing the question and would in all likelihood require more investigation before a complete response could properly be framed to thoroughly answer the question posed. No attorney-client relationship is, or should be presumed to be, formed through the comments or responses provided to the individual posing the question, as a courtesy, here, through this forum, nor should any other duties or obligations be construed; assumed; or otherwise be inferred to exist and/or owed to the individual who posed the question by the attorney who provided the best guidance possible to said individual under the circumstances presented as they were, including the unreasonable assumption that a full and thorough legal analysis of an individual's situation could be formulated simply based on the minute portion of the entirety of the facts and circumstances surrounding any legal matter, which could in no manner possibly be presented here in such a form which would allow for a thorough analysis, evaluation, or legal opinion to be formed by the Attorney.
Typically to be determined to be incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of insanity Requires the input of several medical professionals.
Once those psychiatrist provide their opinion to the court they'll determine whether not the subject is mentally capable of assisting in his or her defense.
Remember just because a person is found incompetent to stand trial doesn't mean they can't be made to stand trial in the future once they become competent.
Without trying to provide you with medical advice but as an example there are many people who are charged with crimes that have similar diagnosis as you mentioned above i.e. bipolar, depressed et cetera.
Having a mental diagnosis consistent with the above did not does not necessarily make you incompetent to stand trial.
You need to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your area to assist you with this question.
Consult with a local attorney. Nearly every prisoner in DOC now has these types of maladies. They are very common and simply do not always lead to a dropping of the charges. Indeed, the court system has a way of completely ignoring these matters, unless complete psych evaluations and drug evaluations are done, by a number of medical professionals. It is not cheap to have this done. I once had a client who was diagnosed as a cleptomaniac. I somehow kept her out of prison because my argument was that stacking punishment in DUI helps to protect the public, stacking in theft does not. We cannnot, for instance, stack cocaine convictions, because it is an illness, and I simply applied that reasoning in her case. She had already been to prison for 22 months on a previous charge of petit theft. That's right, petit theft convictions are stacked to arrive at felony sentences in prison. Mental disorders abound but do not always get the treatment deserved. Actually not appreciating the difference between right and wrong at the time of the offense is very rare. A vast majority of prisoners across the county are in because the crime was directly related to drugs or alcohol, and most of them have mental disorders too, which have largely been ignored, and frequently cannot and will not form the basis for a dismissal.
R. Jason de Groot, Esq., 386-337-8239