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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 13 : Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Chapter 157 : Insanity as a Defense

(Cite as: 13 V.S.A. § 4814)
  • § 4814. Order for examination of competency

    (a) Any court before which a criminal prosecution is pending may order the Department of Mental Health to have the defendant examined by a psychiatrist at any time before, during, or after trial, and before final judgment in any of the following cases:

    (1) [Repealed.]

    (2) when the defendant, the State, or an attorney, guardian, or other person acting on behalf of the defendant raises before such court the issue of whether the defendant is mentally competent to stand trial for the alleged offense; or

    (3) [Repealed.]

    (4) when the court believes that there is doubt as to the defendant’s mental competency to be tried for the alleged offense.

    (b) The order may be issued by the court on its own motion or on motion of the State, the defendant, or an attorney, guardian, or other person acting on behalf of the defendant.

    (c) An order issued pursuant to this section or Rule 16.1 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure shall order the release of all relevant records to the examiner, including all juvenile and adult court, mental health, and other health records.

    (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an examination ordered pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may be conducted by a doctoral-level psychologist trained in forensic psychology and licensed under 26 V.S.A. chapter 55. This subsection shall be repealed on July 1, 2024.

    (e) After an initial competency determination, a court may order subsequent evaluations of a defendant to be performed by the Department of Mental Health only upon a showing of changed circumstances. In determining whether to order subsequent evaluations, the court shall consider a treating physician’s clinical evidence, if any, indicating that the defendant’s competency may have changed. This section shall not limit the parties’ abilities to secure their own evaluations voluntarily or under Vermont Rule of Criminal Procedure 16.1.

    (f) The court may issue a warrant for the arrest of a defendant who, after receiving notice of an evaluation ordered under this section, fails to appear for the evaluation. (Added 1969, No. 20, § 1; amended 1973, No. 118, § 16, eff. Oct. 1, 1973; 1991, No. 231 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1995, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 19; 2007, No. 15, § 22; 2023, No. 28, § 2, eff. July 1, 2023.)