Mental Health Commitment Process (Criminal*)

> Click here to view a flow chart version of this process.
> Click here for information on Civil Mental Health Commitments.

If criminal charges are pending and Defendant is found incompetent to stand trial**:
- Defendant will be remanded to the state hospital or an outpatient restoration program for up to 120 days in attempt to restore competency; or
- Defendant is restored and returned for restoration hearing.

If the Defendant is unlikely to regain competency, the District or County Attorney will take one of the following actions:

  1. The DA will dismiss criminal charges and release the Defendant;
  2. The DA will refer the Defendant for civil commitment ***; or
  3. Or DA initiates proceeding for commitment under §46B 101 et al. Defendant will be committed for a period of time not to exceed maximum sentence for crime alleged (except some misdemeanors).

If the District or County Attorney refuses to dismiss the charges: After 120 Days, if Defendant is found unlikely to regain competency the prosecutor will refer the case for a commitment hearing to determine if:

  • PP is mentally ill;
  • If PP is likely to harm self, another or is gravely disabled;
  • There is a recent overt act;
  • If hospital is the least restrictive setting

Chapter 46B Tx. Code of Criminal Procedure
**A person is incompetent to stand trial if the person does not have: 1)sufficient present ability to consult with the person’s lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding; or 2) a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against the person.

***Chapter 573, 574 Tx. Health & Safety Code

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For more information, please call the Austin Criminal Defense
Law Office of Krista A. Chacona, P.C. at (512) 617-5555.

Criminal Defense Areas of Practice

Bad Check / Forgery Cases
Burglary Cases
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