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Mental Health Facility Refuses to Admit Mentally Ill Defendant After Acquitted from Crime


The director of mental health division refused to admit the petitioner who was acquitted from her criminal charges for petit larceny by reason of insanity. The district court rendered a commitment order of the insane person at a mental health facility of the Florida state. However, the director refused to admit the petitioner raising the issue of danger that would be cause by the accused towards individuals she may be in contact with. The judge sought to show cause from the medical director before the court for failure to follow the commitment order it issued.

In response, a motion to dismiss was filed by the director. A New York Criminal Lawyer said he alleged that the criminal cannot be committed in the mental health facility unless she is civilly committed pursuant to the provisions of the law. The court, on the other hand, averred that the acquitted felon of petit larceny cannot be discharged since she is manifestly dangerous to the peace and safety of the people that she may be in contact with, which warrants her admission to a mental health facility instead. The refusal of the director to admit the petitioner resulted to the imprisonment of the latter at a detention center that caused danger to herself and others.

The Court found that the provisions of the statute pertaining to non-admittance of the acquitted defendant of petit larceny by reason of insanity were unconstitutional and is considered ineffective and inapplicable against the petitioner. It can be established that the due to the insanity of the accused her discharge or release cannot be warranted since she is a danger to herself and others, thus, admission to a mental health facility was deemed necessary. A New York Criminal Lawyer also said the court also ruled that the director of the mental health services admit the defendant for hospitalization and treatment without the occurrence of civil commitment proceedings.
The court based its ruling upon a case, specifically stating that “When a person tried for an offense shall be acquitted by the jury for the cause of insanity, the jury, in giving their verdict of not guilty, shall state that it was given for such cause. If the discharge or going at large of such insane person shall be considered by the court manifestly dangerous to the peace and safety of the people, the court shall order him to be committed to jail or otherwise to be cared for as an insane person and such person shall be held in custody until released by order of the committing court, or may give him into the care of his friends, on their giving satisfactory security for the proper care and protection of such person; otherwise he shall be discharged.”
Thus, the finding of the defendant being manifestly dangerous to herself and the public, which resulted to her acquittal by reason of insanity justified the order of the court to the defendant’s commitment in a mental health facility since this would be for the best interest of both the accused and to pose peach and safety to the public in general.

However, some of the judges of the Supreme Court of Florida dissented to the majority decision of the court. They alleged that there was no case or controversy ripe for decision as to the issue of admission of the defendant in a mental health institution since the acquitted felon was charged with petite larceny and her insanity was not put in issue in the case. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said it was noted by the dissenting justices that the parties involved in the resolution of the appeal was the court who rendered the commitment order of the accused and the director of the state’s mental health division as to the subject of commitment or non-commitment of the accused at the said facility, hence, the petitioner is of no concern with the issue presented in the appealed case.

Valid defenses are readily available to felons charged with a criminal offense that could justify the acquittal or exemption from any liability. You will just need the help of a criminal attorney to provide you with legal options that would best apply to your case, whether you have been charged with a drug crime, sex crimes or theft. Stephen Bilkis and Associates have grand larceny lawyers who could give you legal advices and are ready for your employ.

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