Title 77 Chapter 15 Section 6

Utah Code of Criminal Procedure
Inquiry into Sanity of Defendant
Section 6
Commitment on finding of incompetency to stand trial -- Subsequent hearings -- Notice to prosecuting attorneys.

            

77-15-6.   Commitment on finding of incompetency to stand trial -- Subsequent hearings -- Notice to prosecuting attorneys.

            (1) Except as provided in Subsection (5), if after hearing, the defendant is found to be incompetent to stand trial, the court shall order the defendant committed to the custody of the executive director of the Department of Human Services or a designee for the purpose of treatment intended to restore the defendant to competency. The court may recommend but not order placement of the defendant. The court may, however, order that the defendant be placed in a secure setting rather than a nonsecure setting. The director or a designee shall designate the specific placement of the defendant during the period of evaluation and treatment to restore competency.

            (2) The examiner or examiners designated by the executive director to assess the defendant's progress toward competency may not be involved in the routine treatment of the defendant. The examiner or examiners shall provide a full report to the court and prosecuting and defense attorneys within 90 days of arrival of the defendant at the treating facility. If any examiner is unable to complete the assessment within 90 days, that examiner shall provide to the court and counsel a summary progress report which informs the court that additional time is necessary to complete the assessment, in which case the examiner shall have up to an additional 90 days to provide the full report. The full report shall assess:

            (a) whether the defendant is exhibiting false or exaggerated physical or psychological symptoms, and shall report:

            (i) any diagnostic instruments, methods, and observations used by the examiner to make the determination; and

            (ii) the examiner's opinion as to the effect of any false or exaggerated symptoms on the defendant's capacity to stand trial;

            (b) the facility's or program's capacity to provide appropriate treatment for the defendant;

            (c) the nature of treatments provided to the defendant;

            (d) what progress toward competency restoration has been made with respect to the factors identified by the court in its initial order;

            (e) the defendant's current level of mental disorder or mental retardation and need for treatment, if any; and

            (f) the likelihood of restoration of competency and the amount of time estimated to achieve it.

            (3) The court on its own motion or upon motion by either party or by the executive director may appoint additional mental health examiners to examine the defendant and advise the court on the defendant's current mental status and progress toward competency restoration.

            (4) Upon receipt of the full report, the court shall hold a hearing to determine the defendant's current status. At the hearing, the burden of proving that the defendant is competent is on the proponent of competency. Following the hearing, the court shall determine by a preponderance of evidence whether the defendant is:

            (a) competent to stand trial;

            (b) incompetent to stand trial with a substantial probability that the defendant may become competent in the foreseeable future; or

            (c) incompetent to stand trial without a substantial probability that the defendant may become competent in the foreseeable future.

            (5) (a) If the court enters a finding pursuant to Subsection (4)(a), the court shall proceed with the trial or other procedures as may be necessary to adjudicate the charges.

            (b) If the court enters a finding pursuant to Subsection (4)(b), the court may order that the defendant remain committed to the custody of the executive director of the Department of Human Services or a designee for the purpose of treatment intended to restore the defendant to competency.

            (c) If the court enters a finding pursuant to Subsection (4)(c), the court shall order the defendant released from the custody of the director unless the prosecutor informs the court that commitment proceedings pursuant to Title 62A, Chapter 5, Services for People with Disabilities, or Title 62A, Chapter 15, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Act, will be initiated. These commitment proceedings must be initiated within seven days after the court's order entering the finding in Subsection (4)(c), unless the court enlarges the time for good cause shown. The defendant may be ordered to remain in the custody of the director until commitment proceedings have been concluded. If the defendant is committed, the court which entered the order pursuant to Subsection (4)(c), shall be notified by the director at least 10 days prior to any release of the committed person.

            (6) If the defendant is recommitted to the department pursuant to Subsection (5)(b), the court shall hold a hearing one year following the recommitment.

            (7) At the hearing held pursuant to Subsection (6), except for defendants charged with the crimes listed in Subsection (8), a defendant who has not been restored to competency shall be ordered released or temporarily detained pending civil commitment proceedings under the same terms as provided in Subsection (5)(c).

            (8) If the defendant has been charged with aggravated murder, murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, or a first degree felony and the court determines that the defendant is making reasonable progress towards restoration of competency at the time of the hearing held pursuant to Subsection (6), the court may order the defendant recommitted for a period not to exceed 18 months for the purpose of treatment to restore the defendant to competency with a mandatory review hearing at the end of the 18-month period.

            (9) Except for defendants charged with aggravated murder or murder, a defendant who has not been restored to competency at the time of the hearing held pursuant to Subsection (8) shall be ordered released or temporarily detained pending civil commitment proceedings under the same terms as provided in Subsection (5)(c).

            (10) If the defendant has been charged with aggravated murder or murder and the court determines that the defendant is making reasonable progress towards restoration of competency at the time of the mandatory review hearing held pursuant to Subsection (8), the court may order the defendant recommitted for a period not to exceed 36 months for the purpose of treatment to restore competency.

            (11) If the defendant is recommitted to the department pursuant to Subsection (10), the court shall hold a hearing no later than at 18-month intervals following the recommitment for the purpose of determining the defendant's competency status.

            (12) A defendant who has not been restored to competency at the expiration of the additional 36-month commitment period ordered pursuant to Subsection (10) shall be ordered released or temporarily detained pending civil commitment proceedings under the same terms as provided in Subsection (5)(c).

            (13) (a) In no event may the maximum period of detention under this section exceed the maximum period of incarceration which the defendant could receive if the defendant were convicted of the charged offense.

            (b) This Subsection (13) does not preclude pursuing involuntary civil commitment nor does it place any time limit on civil commitments.

            (14) Neither release from a pretrial incompetency commitment under the provisions of this section nor civil commitment requires dismissal of criminal charges. The court may retain jurisdiction over the criminal case and may order periodic reviews to assess the defendant's competency to stand trial.

            (15) A defendant who is civilly committed pursuant to Title 62A, Chapter 5, Services for People with Disabilities, or Title 62A, Chapter 15, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Act, may still be adjudicated competent to stand trial under this chapter.

            (16) (a) The remedy for a violation of the time periods specified in this section, other than those specified in Subsection (5)(c), (7), (9), (12), or (13), shall be a motion to compel the hearing, or mandamus, but not release from detention or dismissal of the criminal charges.

            (b) The remedy for a violation of the time periods specified in Subsection (5)(c), (7), (9), (12), or (13) is not dismissal of the criminal charges.

            (17) In cases in which the treatment of the defendant is precluded by court order for a period of time, that time period may not be considered in computing time limitations under this section.

            (18) At any time that the defendant becomes competent to stand trial, the clinical director of the hospital or other facility or the executive director of the Department of Human Services shall certify that fact to the court. The court shall conduct a hearing within 15 working days of the receipt of the clinical director's or executive director's report, unless the court enlarges the time for good cause.

            (19) The court may order a hearing or rehearing at any time on its own motion or upon recommendations of the clinical director of the hospital or other facility or the executive director of the Department of Human Services.

            (20) Notice of a hearing on competency to stand trial shall be given to the prosecuting attorney. If the hearing is held in the county where the defendant is confined, notice shall also be given to the prosecuting attorney for that county.


Amended by Chapter 109, 2012 General Session