Determination of Competency

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"Intellectual and psychological factors affect a defendant"s ability to assist counsel and make the critical and often complicated decisions that the defendant must make during a criminal proceeding. For a determination of competency, it is necessary for a defendant to have a factual understanding of the proceedings. But he or she must also:Have a rational understanding of the charges and be capable of making the necessary decisions in their case, i.e., to accept or reject a plea agreement, to decide whether or not to go to trial and whether or not to testify.
Be able to assist counsel in a rational and consistent manner.Be able to behave appropriately and function competently in the courtroom. competency evaluation can identify intellectual deficits or the presence of serious psychological issues that may impair a defendant"s capacity to proceed. If intellectual impairment or psychotic disorders significantly impair an individual"s competency to proceed, the results of the psychological examination allow the examiner to offer an opinion and make recommendations regarding whether the defendant can be restored to competency."

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