Procedure following verdict or plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect.

Definition of Terms

Definition of terms. As used in this section, the following terms will have the following meanings:

“Commissioner” basically means the state commissioner of mental health, or else the state commissioner of mental retardation and developmental disability.

“Secure facility” basically means a facility in the state office of mental health or else the state office of mental retardation and developmental disabilities which has been staffed with personnel who are adequately trained in security methods and are equipped as to minimize the risk or even danger of escapes, and which has actually been specifically designated by the commissioner.

“Dangerous mental disorder” means that a defendant currently suffers from a “mental illness” as the term’s defined in subdivision twenty of section 1.03 of the mental hygiene law, and that because of this condition he or she currently constitutes a physical danger to himself or others.

“Mentally ill” basically means that a defendant currently suffers from some sort of mental illness for which care and treatment as a patient, in the in-patient services of a psychiatric center under the direct jurisdiction of the state office of mental health, is considered to be essential to the defendant’s welfare and that his or her judgment is so impaired that he or she is unable to understand the need for this care and treatment; and, where a defendant’s mentally retarded, the term “mentally ill” will also mean that the defendant’s in need of care and treatment as a resident in the in-patient services of a developmental center or any other type of residential facility for the mentally retarded and developmentally disabled under the jurisdiction of the state office of mental retardation and developmental disabilities.

“Examination order” basically means an order that’s directed to the commissioner which requires that a defendant must submit to a psychiatric examination to determine whether they have a dangerous mental disorder, or if he or she does not have dangerous mental disorder, whether he or she is mentally ill.

“Commitment order” or “recommitment order” basically means an order that commits a defendant to the custody of the commissioner for confinement in some sort of secure facility for care and treatment for six months after the date of the order.

“First retention order” basically means an order that’s effective at the expiration of the period that’s prescribed in a commitment order for a recommitment order, authorizing continued custody of a defendant by the commissioner for a period that won’t exceed one year.

“Second retention order” basically means an order that’s effective at the expiration of the period that’s prescribed in a first retention order that authorizes continued custody of a defendant by the commissioner for a period that won’t exceed two years.

“Subsequent retention order” basically means an order that’s effective at the expiration of the period that’s prescribed in a second retention order or a prior subsequent retention order that authorizes continued custody of a defendant by the commissioner for a period that won’t exceed two years.

“Retention order” basically means a first retention order, a second retention order, or even a subsequent retention order.

“Furlough order” basically means an order that directs the commissioner to allow a defendant in confinement regarding a commitment order, recommitment order, or even retention order to temporarily leave the facility for a period that won’t exceed fourteen days, either with or without the constant supervision of one or more employees of the facility.

“Transfer order” basically means an order that directs the commissioner to transfer a defendant from a secure facility to a non-secure facility under the direct jurisdiction of the commissioner, or else to any non-secure facility as designated by the commissioner.

“Release order” basically means an order that directs the commissioner to terminate a defendant’s in-patient status without first terminating the commissioner’s responsibility for the defendant.

What’s the examination order in New York?

Examination Order: Psychiatric Examiners

On entry of a verdict of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect, or on the acceptance of a plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect, the court has to immediately issue an examination order. On receipt of this order, the commissioner has to designate two qualified psychiatric examiners to conduct the exam of the defendant. In conducting their examination, the psychiatric examiners can use any method which is accepted by the medical profession for the examination of people who are alleged to be suffering from a dangerous mental disorder, or else to be mentally ill or retarded. The court can authorize a psychiatrist or psychologist who’s retained by a defendant to be present at this examination. The clerk of the court has to promptly forward a copy of the examination order to the mental hygiene legal service, and this service can participate afterward in all of the proceedings under this section. In all the later proceedings under this section, before the issuing of a special order of conditions, the court will consider whether any order of protection had been issued before a verdict of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect in the case, or before the acceptance of a plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect.

Firearm, Rifle or Shotgun Surrender Order

On entry of a verdict of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect, or on acceptance of a plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect, or even on a finding that the defendant’s an incapacitated person, the court will revoke the defendant’s firearm license, if any, ask the defendant about the existence and location of any firearm, rifle, or shotgun owned or possessed by the defendant and direct the surrender of said firearm, rifle, or shotgun.

Examination Order: Place of Examination

On issuing an examination order, the court must direct that the defendant be committed to a secure facility which has been designated by the commissioner as the place for psychiatric examination. The sheriff has to hold the defendant in custody pending the designation by the commissioner, and when notified of the designation, the sheriff has to promptly deliver the defendant to said secure facility. When the defendant’s not in custody at the time of the verdict or plea because he or she was previously released on bail or on his or her own recognizance, the court may direct that the examination be conducted on an outpatient basis, and at such time and place as the commissioner will designate. If, however, the commissioner informs the court that confinement of the defendant’s necessary for an effective exam, the court has to direct that the defendant be confined in a facility that’s been designated by the commissioner until the exam is completed.

Examination Order: Duration

Confinement in a secure facility will be for a period no longer than thirty days, except that, on application of the commissioner, the court can authorize confinement for an additional period of no longer than thirty days when a longer period is necessary to complete the exam. If the initial hearing has not commenced prior to the termination of the examination period, the commissioner will retain custody of the defendant in said secure facility until custody’s transferred to the sheriff. During the period of confinement, the physician in charge of the facility can administer to the defendant emergency psychiatric, medical, or other therapeutic treatment as in his or her judgment should be administered. If the court has directed that the exam be conducted on an outpatient basis, the exam will be completed within thirty days after the defendant first reported to the place designated by the commissioner, except that, on application of the commissioner, the court can extend the period for a reasonable time if a longer period is necessary to complete the examination.

While the letter of the law can at times seem complicated or confusing, it doesn’t always have to be. At Joseph Potashnik and Associates, PC, the people always come first. Let us help you, and make the first step by getting in touch with us today. It’ll be the best thing you do today.