Forensic & Criminal Law
Getting the expert assessments in the time frame you need to support the court process.
We have a nationwide team of Section 12 authorized medicolegal clinicians experienced in compiling the reports required for fair representation in court proceedings. Implications of the reports may make so much impact on an individual, finding the right expert clinical support is crucial.
Our medico-legal services team members spent years in handling different claims and deeply understand the complexities forensic and criminal law cases can bring. Our team will handle all aspects of the process, from arranging locations for assessments, to ensuring the reports are endorsed within the required format, time frame, and budget.
There are different types of reports that qualified psychiatrists can gather for the courts to help point out and establish the mental health capacity of the accused party.
The assessments are commonly used for:
- The decision to divert or prosecute
- Fitness to Plead or Fitness to Stand trial
- Constituting motivations
The Decision to Prosecute
It is essential to gather as much information with regards to any possible mental health condition and made available to the prosecutor the soonest possible time. Mental health and capacity assessments are mostly filled by Psychiatrists to be used by the prosecutor to determine if the prosecution is in the public interest.
Fitness to Plead and/or Fitness to Stand Trial Assessments
Once the accused is found to have a mental disorder or is suspected to have one, the courts will use forensic assessments to determine as to whether the accused possess the (legal) capacity to stand trial.
The assessment will check if the accused is able to understand the court proceedings, instruct a solicitor, question a juror and comprehend the different pleas and verdicts.
The judge will need to establish whether the defendant is fit to plead and stand trial, which pertains to the defendant’s capacity to comprehend the course of court proceedings. This ruling is formed using concrete clinical evidence from two or more registered medical practitioners, one of whom must also be authorized under section 12 of the Mental Health Act of 1983.
A medico legal report may also be utilized to analyse as to whether the court proceedings are taking a greater toll on the mental health of the accused; once it is established that there is significant deterioration the courts may take this into contemplation for determining the manner and timeframe of the proceedings.
You may also establish the motivations for the crime and if the client is fully aware that they were committing a crime during the incident and if they fully comprehend the situation.
Where it is speculated that the defendant has, or appears to possess a mental disorder, the courts will demand to secure a medical report they will examine prior to sentencing.
Forensic reports can be used by the courts to help rule out the sentencing decision. There are some instances, where it is established that the accused was going through a mental disorder at the time of the incident affecting the overall sentencing.
A forensic report can also be used to determine the intensity of future risk for further offenses.
If a custodial sentence is required, the courts will use the medico legal reports to resolve which setting is the most appropriate for serving a part of the sentence or its entirety such as a secured hospital or HMPS.