Tag Archive for criminal / civil

Presentence Reports

Federal and State courts allow for psychological evaluations to inform the presentencing stage of some court proceedings.  The goal of the presentence psychological report is to provide the additional information the court needs before determining a sentence.  The psychological evaluation is a means of gaining insight into factors such as the defendant’s history and his…

Sanity Evaluations

Sanity Evaluations explore a defendant’s mental state at the time of the alleged offense.  An Insanity Defense is an affirmative defense whereby the defendant acknowledges having engaged in the offense, but argues lack of responsibility due to mental disease or defect.  Depending on the jurisdiction, an Insanity Defense implies a plea of Not Guilty by…

Competency to Stand Trial

Competency to Stand Trial is most simply defined as the defendant’s ability to understand and participate in the court proceedings.  Depending on the jurisdiction, Competency to Stand Trial may also be referred to as Competence To Stand Trial, Competence To Proceed, or Fitness to Proceed (juvenile court).  Competency to Stand trial is necessary to ensure…

Personal Injury Evaluations

PERSONAL INJURY EVALUATIONS

Psychological personal injury evaluations are conducted to assess whether an event or its consequences have caused psychological or emotional injury. When there is injury, the forensic expert documents the nature and severity of the harm caused. When warranted, the forensic psychologist (expert witness) documents the absence of injuries and/or documents any malingering, deception, or exaggeration…

Waiver to Criminal Court

Waiver to criminal court refers to the transfer of a juvenile to adult court. Depending on the jurisdiction, the purpose of the mental health evaluation may entail assessing for mental illness and mental retardation and exploring the maturity and sophistication of the Defendant. The evaluations often require the administration of psychological tests of personality, intelligence,…

Diminished Capacity Evaluations

Psychological evaluations explore whether the defendant formed the intent required for a crime (Mens Rea). Inability to form or failure to form the required intent may result in acquittal or conviction of a lesser offense. Psychological evaluations may examine whether the defendant committed the offense while suffering from significantly reduced mental capacity and whether the…

Mitigation Evaluations

These evaluations gather personal, medical, and mental health information relevant to mitigation. These evaluations may include a review of medical and mental health records, interview of third-party informants, clinical interviews, and psychological testing. These evaluations may integrate results from neurological exams and comprehensive neuropsychological testing.

Presentence Evaluations

Federal and State courts allow for psychological evaluations to inform the presentencing stage of some court proceedings. The goal of the presentence psychological report is to provide the additional information the court needs before determining a sentence. The psychological evaluation is a means of gaining insight into factors such as the defendant’s history and his…

Sanity Evaluations

Sanity Evaluations explore a defendant’s mental state at the time of the alleged offense. An Insanity Defense is an affirmative defense whereby the defendant acknowledges having engaged in the offense, but argues lack of responsibility due to mental disease or defect.

Competency to Waive Miranda

Psychologists assess whether there are any cognitive problems or mental health disorders that may have impaired the defendant’s ability to waive Miranda rights knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily. Often, these evaluations are conducted to gain insight into the individual’s Competency to Confess or the validity of a Miranda waiver. These evaluations typically involve interviews and review…