Competency to Stand Trial: A Practitioner’s Guide

Amanda Beltrani, Sara Hartigan, Julia Besser, Laura Cooney-Koss, Kathy J. Harowski, Blake R. Harris, Anthony Wartnik, Jerrod Brown


Competency to stand trial can be defined as a defendant’s ability to understand court proceedings, make educated legal decisions, provide testimony, conduct one’s self consistent with the standards of the court, fill out legal paper work without errors, and positively contribute to the development and execution of one’s legal defense. Competency to stand trial evaluations are integral in ensuring the protection of due process rights guaranteed in the United States constitution. This article aims to introduce criminal justice, forensic mental health, and legal professionals to the various componets and processes associated with this topic of evaulation.

Keywords: Case law, Competency to stand trial (CST), defendant, evaluation

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