A Logan, Utah woman has been found incompetent to stand trial for her alleged role in her 2-year-old son’s death.
The woman was declared incompetent by a judge on Monday, following an outburst in court. She later disputed that judgment, but the judge sent her to the state mental hospital for evaluation and treatment anyway.
Legal Definition of Incompetent
A person is considered incompetent to proceed in a legal matter if she is suffering from a mental disorder or mental retardation resulting either in:
* her inability to have a rational and factual understanding of the proceedings against her or of the punishment specified for the offense charged; or
* her inability to consult with her counsel and to participate in the proceedings against her with a reasonable degree of rational understanding.
Court’s Ability to Question Competency
The court has the ability to raise the question of competency at any time during a legal proceeding. If the court does raise the issue, both the defendant and the prosecution have the right to express their opinions about the defendant’s competency.
Statute of Limitations in Incompetency Cases
The statute of limitations is suspended during any period of a defendant’s incompetency.
It’s vital that all defendants use their right to legal counsel in any criminal matter, regardless of the charges or the defendant’s mental state. If you know someone who’s in a legal jam, don’t wait to contact a Utah criminal defense attorney. Get them the expert help they need.