Understanding Rule 11 in Arizona

Can You Be Charged with a DUI on a Bicycle
Can You Be Charged with a DUI on a Bicycle? You can in Scottsdale.
January 26, 2019
Difference of a Felony and Misdemeanor DUI Charge
The Difference Between a Felony and Misdemeanor DUI
March 22, 2019

Within the rules of law in the state of Arizona, a person needs to be of reasonable mind in order to stand trial in court. If there is some evidence to suggest that the individual who is facing charges is not competent to understand those charges or the process of law, then it may be found that they are not able to go through the regular system. Here, we will take a look at how to understand Rule 11 procedure in Arizona.

The Purpose of Rule 11

The legal system in the U.S. is based on an adversarial scenario. It is believed that this adversarial system is the best way to invoke true justice. In the state of Arizona, Rule 11 is there to help ensure that each defendant has the mental capacity to understand what is taking place so this system of adversarial engagement can operate properly.

It is believed that a defendant needs to have at least enough awareness of reality to understand what is happening to them before it is fair for the state to exert their power against him. If an individual is found to lack the basic understanding of what is happening to them, they should not be tried or punished under the normal rules of law. Regardless of whether or not that person is facing proceedings because of information found against them or a complaint filed, it is still necessary that they are considered mentally competent.

According to Arizona state law, it is unacceptable to proceed with a court case if the person being tried is mentally ill, mentally disabled, or is otherwise unable to fully understand his charges or the proceedings or is unable to help with their own defense. Often, mental illness presents itself as either a neurological or psychiatric disorder, and it may present itself as emotional or behavioral abnormalities.

If a person shows some signs of being mentally incompetent, they will have to be examined to determine if they meet the legal definition of incompetence or not. If it is found that they are competent under specific parameters, then it will be possible to try them in a court of law. If, however, they are found under those same parameters to be incompetent, then they will not be able to stand trial.

At any point before a trial, if the judge feels there is some question as to the defendant’s mental capacity, then the judge can order an examination. It may be decided that he is not competent to stand trial. It could also be determined that he lacks the capacity to participate in his own defense. The law says that if a defendant is deprived of this examination, it prevents him from having a fair trial.

Why Is Mental Competency Required in a Court of Law?

The state of mental competency allows for a person to take part in their own legal defense. It is also how a person is able to know that they are doing something wrong or illegal. If they have no ability to comprehend that what they did was wrong, or if they are completely unable to participate in their own legal defense, then the court finds they can’t be legally held responsible for their acts or their decisions.

If it is found that there is sufficient reason to believe they may be mentally incompetent, then they have the right to be examined by someone capable to make a legal determination of competence. The law states that if there is a failure to determine competency, it deprives a person’s right to due process and to a fair trial. It is necessary for a criminal charge to be filed before a motion can be made to examine the defendant’s mental condition.

Why It Is Necessary for a Criminal Charge To Be Initiated Before An Examination Of Capacity Can Be Requested?

There is a chance that the individual could be committed into an institution if they are found to be mentally incompetent. For this reason, it is necessary for an actual criminal charge be filed before a request to examine competence can be made. Otherwise, it would be possible for the defendant to be committed to an institution even when there was no forthcoming crime.