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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23156
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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can an incompetent person be secretly sentence to prison without

Resolved Question:

can an incompetent person be secretly sentence to prison without being told?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

No. It is unconstitutional to try or sentence an incompetent defendant. In general, and I'm oversimplifying, when it is believed that a defendant is incapable of assisting at all in his own defense, the court will send the defendant to a state psychiatric facility and order a psychiatric assessment. If the defendant's condition is such that it can be treated and the defendant restored to competency, then he would be able to face the criminal charges against him and face the same potential choices and penalities as anyone else. If the condition is one that is unchangeable, he will remain institutionalized if he is considered a danger to society, but his criminal charges will be dismissed.
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