Competency/ Insanity


If there is reason to believe that there is a competency issue, the court must be informed and then order an evaluation by an expert. After the trial court receives the applicable expert's written assessment relating to the defendant it may, as applicable: (1) resume criminal proceedings against the defendant; (2) resume or initiate competency proceedings, if required, or other proceedings affecting the defendant's receipt of appropriate court-ordered mental health or mental retardation services; or (3) consider the written assessment during the punishment phase after a conviction of the offense for which the defendant was arrested, as part of a presentence investigation report, or in connection with the impositions of conditions following placement on community supervision, including deferred adjudication community supervision.  Tex. Code Crim. P. § 16.22

 Juvenile: the court shall determine whether probable cause exists to believe that a child, including a child with a mental illness or developmental disability: (1) lacks the capacity to understand the proceedings in criminal court or to assist in the child's own defense and is unfit to proceed; or (2) lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the wrongfulness of the child's own conduct or to conform the child's conduct to the requirement of the law. If the court determines that probable cause exists for such a finding, after providing notice to the state, the court may dismiss the complaint. Tex. Penal Code § 8.08



Special Rules

Witnesses in delinquency trials: In certain circumstances, if a victim has I/DD, their out of court statement may be admissible. Tex. Fam. Code § 54.031 


Death Penalty 

Competency to be executed: Someone found incompetent cannot be executed. A defendant is incompetent to be executed if the defendant does not understand: (1) that he or she is to be executed and that the execution is imminent; and (2) the reason he or she is being executed. Prescribes procedure for determining competency to be executed. Tex. Code Crim. P. § 46.05