F.S. 916.12 on Google Scholar

F.S. 916.12 on Casetext

Amendments to 916.12

The 2022 Florida Statutes (including 2022 Special Session A and 2023 Special Session B)

Chapter 916
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F.S. 916.12 Florida Statutes and Case Law
916.12 Mental competence to proceed.
(1) A defendant is incompetent to proceed within the meaning of this chapter if the defendant does not have sufficient present ability to consult with her or his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding or if the defendant has no rational, as well as factual, understanding of the proceedings against her or him.
(2) Mental health experts appointed pursuant to s. 916.115 shall first determine whether the defendant has a mental illness and, if so, consider the factors related to the issue of whether the defendant meets the criteria for competence to proceed as described in subsection (1). A defendant must be evaluated by no fewer than two experts before the court commits the defendant or takes other action authorized by this chapter or the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, except if one expert finds that the defendant is incompetent to proceed and the parties stipulate to that finding, the court may commit the defendant or take other action authorized by this chapter or the rules without further evaluation or hearing, or the court may appoint no more than two additional experts to evaluate the defendant. Notwithstanding any stipulation by the state and the defendant, the court may require a hearing with testimony from the expert or experts before ordering the commitment of a defendant.
(3) In considering the issue of competence to proceed, an examining expert shall first consider and specifically include in his or her report the defendant’s capacity to:
(a) Appreciate the charges or allegations against the defendant.
(b) Appreciate the range and nature of possible penalties, if applicable, that may be imposed in the proceedings against the defendant.
(c) Understand the adversarial nature of the legal process.
(d) Disclose to counsel facts pertinent to the proceedings at issue.
(e) Manifest appropriate courtroom behavior.
(f) Testify relevantly.

In addition, an examining expert shall consider and include in his or her report any other factor deemed relevant by the expert.

(4) If an expert finds that the defendant is incompetent to proceed, the expert shall report on any recommended treatment for the defendant to attain competence to proceed. In considering the issues relating to treatment, the examining expert shall specifically report on:
(a) The mental illness causing the incompetence;
(b) The treatment or treatments appropriate for the mental illness of the defendant and an explanation of each of the possible treatment alternatives in order of choices;
(c) The availability of acceptable treatment and, if treatment is available in the community, the expert shall so state in the report; and
(d) The likelihood of the defendant’s attaining competence under the treatment recommended, an assessment of the probable duration of the treatment required to restore competence, and the probability that the defendant will attain competence to proceed in the foreseeable future.
(5) A defendant who, because of psychotropic medication, is able to understand the nature of proceedings and assist in the defendant’s own defense shall not automatically be deemed incompetent to proceed simply because the defendant’s satisfactory mental functioning is dependent upon such medication. As used in this subsection, “psychotropic medication” means any drug or compound used to treat mental or emotional disorders affecting the mind, behavior, intellectual functions, perception, moods, or emotions and includes antipsychotic, antidepressant, antimanic, and antianxiety drugs.
History.s. 1, ch. 80-75; s. 1529, ch. 97-102; s. 15, ch. 98-92; s. 59, ch. 2005-236; s. 11, ch. 2006-195; s. 21, ch. 2010-117.

Statutes updated from Official Statutes on: March 07, 2023
F.S. 916.12 on Google Scholar

F.S. 916.12 on Casetext

Amendments to 916.12

Arrestable Offenses / Crimes under Fla. Stat. 916.12
Level: Degree
Misdemeanor/Felony: First/Second/Third

Current data shows no reason an arrest or criminal charge should have occurred directly under Florida Statute 916.12.

Civil Citations / Citable Offenses under S916.12
R or S next to points is Mandatory Revocation or Suspension

Current data shows no reason a civil citation or a suspension or revocation of license should have been issued under Florida Statute 916.12.

Annotations, Discussions, Cases:

  1. In re Commitment

    970 So. 2d 453 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2007)   Cited 16 times
    In this case, the trial court based its May 4, 2007, determination that Reilly was incompetent on a report dated October 31, 2006. However, this six-month-old report did not, and could not, speak to Reilly's present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding or his present rational and factual understanding of the proceedings against him. Accordingly, it did not provide competent, substantial evidence to support the trial court's finding that Reilly was presently incompetent to proceed. While we recognize that section 916.12(2) permits the trial court to adjudicate a defendant incompetent based on the stipulation of the parties to one mental health expert's findings, we do not believe that section 916.12(2) permits the court to rely on a stipulation to an expert's report that is so stale that it no longer speaks to the defendant's present competence.
    PAGE 456
  2. Department of Children & Families v. Clem

    903 So. 2d 1011 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2005)   Cited 6 times
    Section 916.12(4) provides:
    PAGE 1013
  3. Rodriguez v. State

    112 So. 3d 618 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2013)
    The issue raised in this appeal is not whether Rodriguez was competent to stand trial. That is for the trial court to determine upon remand. The question before us is whether the trial court, at the time of trial, had information that created reasonable grounds to believe Rodriguez might be incompetent. The record shows there was such evidence. The past competency reports, lack of any recent evaluation and report, the defendant's own conduct, and counsel's expressed concerns combinedto create reasonable grounds to require the trial court to conduct a competency hearing after ordering and receiving a new competency evaluation. See Brockman v. State, 852 So.2d 330 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003); see also§ 916.12(1), Fla. Stat. (2012); Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.210(b).
    PAGE 620
  4. Dep't of Children & Families v. Lotton

    172 So. 3d 983 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2015)   Cited 5 times
    First, we find that the trial court departed from the essential requirements of the law in how it went about determining that Defendant was not competent to proceed. We agree with the trial court that Defendant's described courtroom behaviors were unusual and raised concerns about her competency to proceed. However, there are clearly established procedures that must be followed when a defendant's competency is questioned. To make this determination, section 916.12( 2) states that the defendant shall be evaluated by no fewer than two experts before the court takes any action under chapter 916 or the rules of criminal procedure. See also Gatlin v. State, 79 So.3d 202, 203 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012) (“If there is an issue regarding a defendant's competency, at least two mental health experts must examine the defendant to determine whether he or she is competent to proceed to trial.”). Here, only one expert was appointed and he was unable to examine or evaluate Defendant on a single occasion. Nothing in the record indicates that Dr. Williamson made any further attempt to evaluate her, nor did he advise the trial court that any further efforts would be futile. Both section…
    PAGE 986
  5. Hunter v. State

    660 So. 2d 244 (Fla. 1995)   Cited 181 times   2 Legal Analyses
    Hunter first claims that the trial court erred in finding him competent to stand trial. The test for whether a defendant is competent to stand trial is whether "he has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding — and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him." Dusky v. United States, 362 U.S. 402, 402, 80 S.Ct. 788, 789, 4 L.Ed.2d 824, 825 (1960); see also § 916.12( 1), Fla. Stat. (1993); Fla.R.Crim.P. 3.211(a)(1). The reports of experts are "merely advisory to the [trial court], which itself retains the responsibility of the decision." Muhammad v. State, 494 So.2d 969, 973 (Fla. 1986) (quoting Brown v. State, 245 So.2d 68, 70 (Fla. 1971), vacated in part on other grounds, 408 U.S. 938, 92 S.Ct. 2870, 33 L.Ed.2d 759 (1972)), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 1101, 107 S.Ct. 1332, 94 L.Ed.2d 183 (1987). And, even when the experts' reports conflict, it is the function of the trial court to resolve such factual disputes. Fowler v. State, 255 So.2d 513, 514 (Fla. 1971). The trial court must consider all evidence relative to competence and its decision will stand absent a…
    PAGE 247
  6. The forestry regulations do contain a different provision governing "Section 303(d) Listed Watersheds." CAL. CODE REGS. tit. 14, § 916.12. That regulation states, "[f]or any planning watershed in which timber operations could contribute to the pollutants or stressors which have been identified as limiting water quality in a water body listed pursuant to 303(d) Federal Clean Water Act, [certain rules] shall apply." Ibid. Plaintiff does not claim that the land use restrictions causing his injury, all found in Section 916.9, were in any way related to Section 916.12. (In fact, neither party mentioned Section 916.12.) Section 916.12, however, provides additional reason to believe that Redwood Creek's Section 303(d) listing did not automatically trigger more stringent California forestry regulations — under this provision, Section 303(d) listing at most would trigger proceedings to adjust the Act's TMDL or would lead to the development ( with the collaboration of affected landowners) of watershed-specific regulations. Plaintiff identifies no such proceedings.
    PAGE 10
  7. Rodriguez v. State

    No. 3D11-254 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Feb. 20, 2013)
    The record before the trial judge reflected that there were no recent reports evaluating Rodriguez's competency to stand trial; the last being eleven months prior. The defendant's court-appointed standby counsel raised concerns about the defendant's competency to stand trial. The evaluation reports of record as well as the defendant's behavior in front of the court, both before and after trial, combined with the fact that there was no recent evaluation of record, were sufficient to create reasonable grounds to question whether the defendant was competent to stand trial. See Muhammad, 494 So. 2d at 973; Sampson v. State, 88 So. 3d 209 (Fla. 3d DCA 2011); see also § 916.12(1), Fla. Stat. (2012); Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.210.
    PAGE 3
  8. Miami-Dade County v. Jones

    793 So. 2d 902 (Fla. 2001)   Cited 2 times
    The nature and scope of the competency evaluation is outlined in the following provisions of section 916.12, Florida Statutes (2000). This section is the mirror image of the guidelines and parameters to be applied when rule 3.851(d) is involved. First, both the statute and the rule have the same criteria for determining competency to proceed (i.e., whether the person has the sufficient present ability to consult with counsel and whether the person has a rational and factual understanding of the proceedings). Compare § 916.12( 2), Fla. Stat. (2000), with Fla.R.Crim.P. 3.851(d)(8)(A). Second, the statute and rule overlap with respect to the relevant factors to be considered by the expert in making determinations and drafting reports (e.g., whether the person understands the adversarial nature of the process and whether he or she is able to disclose to counsel facts pertinent to the proceeding).Compare § 916.12( 3), Fla. Stat. (2000), with Fla.R.Crim.P. 3.851(d)(8)(B). Finally, both the statute and the rule define the scope of the expert's report by delineating the same factors to be included in the report (i.e., the expert must report on the mental…
    PAGE 905
  9. Muhammad v. State

    494 So. 2d 969 (Fla. 1986)   Cited 53 times
    § 916.12(1), Fla. Stat.(1981).
    PAGE 972