AB 1630

Title: Competence to stand trial: statewide application.
Author: Akilah Weber

AB 1630, as amended, Akilah Weber. Competence to stand trial: statewide application. Existing law prohibits a person from being tried or adjudged to punishment while that person is mentally incompetent. Existing law establishes a process by which a defendant’s mental competency is evaluated and by which the defendant receives treatment with the goal of returning the defendant to competency. Existing law requires a court to appoint 2 psychiatrists, licensed psychologists, or a combination thereof to examine a defendant if the defendant is not seeking a finding of mental incompetence.This bill would require the court to appoint the mental health professionals if the defendant objects to an evaluation of mental incompetence and requests a 2nd opinion. The bill would also require the examining psychiatrists or licensed psychologists to evaluate the defendant’s eligibility for mental health diversion.Existing law presumes that a defendant is competent unless shown, by a preponderance of evidence, that the defendant is incompetent. Existing law also requires the counsel for the defendant to offer evidence in support of the allegation of mental incompetence and, if they decline to do so, authorizes the prosecution to do so.This bill would delete the requirement that counsel for the defendant offer evidence in support of an allegation of mental incompetence, and would, if any report from a court-appointed psychiatrist or licensed psychologist indicates that the defendant is incompetent to stand trial, instead allow the prosecution to offer evidence in support of an allegation of mental competence. The bill would allow the defense to present its case regarding the issue of the defendant’ s present mental incompetence at the conclusion of the prosecution’s case. The bill would retain the presumption that the defendant is mentally competent if all reports from the court-appointed psychiatrists or licensed psychologists indicate that the defendant is mentally competent.Existing law requires the Department of Justice to maintain a database of state summary criminal history information, as defined, and to provide that information upon request and as specified. Existing law includes a finding of mental incompetence arising out of a complaint charging a specific set of sex crimes as part of the state summary criminal history information.This bill would require the clerk of the court, when a person is determined to be incompetent to stand trial or when a court determines that competency has been restored, to transmit that information to the Department of Justice for inclusion in the person’s state summary criminal history information, and would make that information disclosable as part of the person’s state summary criminal history information. If a person has been deemed incompetent to stand trial in any jurisdiction and there has been no official restoration of competence, the bill would establish a presumption of mental incompetence and would require a court before which a defendant is appearing on a new charge to assess whether competence has been restored.

Read first time. To print. 01/11/2022
From printer. May be heard in committee February 11. 01/12/2022
Referred to Com. on PUB. S. 01/20/2022
From committee chair, with author's amendments: Amend, and re-refer to Com. on PUB. S. Read second time and amended. 02/28/2022
Re-referred to Com. on PUB. S. 03/01/2022

Bill Documents
AB 1630 - 02/28/22 - Amended Assembly
02/28/22 - AB 1630 (02/28/22 - Amended Assembly)

AB 1630 - 01/11/22 - Introduced
01/11/22 - AB 1630 (01/11/22 - Introduced)

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Author Details

    Asm. Akilah Weber (D-CA)
    State House

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