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Mental Competency Archives

What is "mental competency" in a criminal case?

Mental competency is defined in California Penal Code 1367(a) which generally states that if the defendant because of a "mental disorder or developmental disability" is unable to understand the nature of the criminal procedings or assist his/her attorney in their defense in a rational manner, criminal charges will be suspended pending a return to competency.  There are proceedures and hearing rights also outlined in related sections of the Penal Code.

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