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Old 10-31-2017, 06:54 PM
ant30Mom ant30Mom is offline
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Question Competency Evaluation Paid by parent in Florida

Our son has a private attorney. We asked him to file a motion to have a competency evaluation. The judge agreed but we would have to pay for it. We paid it and the doctor says he is competent but does have some mental illness. Will the State or the Judge request a second evaluation? Fellow inmates are telling him yes. Any help is appreciated. Florida is a very hard state. He was given 16 years for burglaries and will have to served 85% of the time.

Last edited by ant30Mom; 10-31-2017 at 06:55 PM.. Reason: adding information
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:49 PM
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If the State disagrees with the evaluation, then the state may request its own evaluation. If the state agrees with the results of the evaluation, then the state won't get another evaluation.

I'm assuming since your son has already been sentenced, this is a matter of appeal - was he competent to stand trial or take the plea (depending on how he got the 16), and that is a possible avenue of appeal that has subsequently been evaluated by your own shrink.

Now if the appeal is arguing something along the lines of diminished capacity and is raising the mental illness of your son to maintain a diminished capacity argument, then expect a second eval IF the mental illness suffered by your son is significant enough to maintain that sort of argument.

But if it is just a competency to take a plea or to stand trial, then you already have your answer. Fwiw, if the state wants an eval, it'll be on the state's dime with a state evaluator. Expect the results to be anything but favorable to your son's case.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:15 PM
ant30Mom ant30Mom is offline
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My son got 16 years and is appealing in Osceola County. The competency evaluation was done in Broward in order to determine if he can accept what the state offered which is 5 years to be served concurrent with the 16 years for Osceola. He was found competent so then the state will say okay and we move forward. Our big concern he has warrants out in Sarasota and Polk county and they want to give him life. We are trying to get a lawyer for those county because we don't want to put his life in a public defendants hands but we might have to. Its hard he is 30 years old and has 5 children under 12 years old. He really screwed up and didn't think of them. Thanks for listening.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:15 PM
CenTexLyn CenTexLyn is offline
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Something else to be aware of is how the State treats someone deemed incompetent to stand trial. In many jurisdictions, this is not a get-out-of-jail-free finding. Instead, you go to the State Hospital until deemed competent OR until the maximum time has been spent in a confined status that could have been imposed by a Court. It is NOT AT ALL UNCOMMON to see someone spend far more time in a hospital setting than they EVER would have served in prison...
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:05 AM
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Ant - actually, I know a few public defenders in FL, including Polk and Sarasota. I went to school with them. They are now senior level public defenders handling nothing but the most extreme cases - murder and things that get LWOP. Both specialize meaning that is the only kind of case they handle. One is a former sheriff's deputy who changhas d career midstream to become a very dedicated public defender. Both had stellar law school results, including law review, so they have a habit of knowing their stuff and doing it rather well. So, before you start shelling a ton of money out on an attorney who may not do this sort of defense all that often, I'd talk with the PD assigned to my case. I'd ask a few pointed questions -

What is your case load
How often do you go to trial
How many of this type of case have you handled

That sort of thing. I'd ask about experience with that exact mental health issue as well, especially if there is an aspect of psychosis involved or self medicating a mental illness with street drugs.

If not confident in the responses, then I'd seek outside counsel and do my due diligence and ask a ton of questions, interviewing at least 3 attorneys before hiring outside counsel.

I'm sorry you're going through this. I'm sorry he's going through this. Mostly, I'm sorry his kids are going to grow up with a dad in prison. Hopefully, you are up to the task of offering as much succor and love as possible so that you can make up for some of what will be missing with a father in prison. It's a heartache, for sure. I really feel for you and your family.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:53 AM
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Welcome to Prison Talk. I'm sorry for what your family is facing, but once he was sentenced, the courts are even more unforgiving. All you can do is to keep trying.

Here is the link to the Florida forums with much information from folks who are familiar with their prisons.
http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=128
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