Forensic psychiatry is a highly specialized field that focuses on assessing the competence and mental state of defenders in the legal system. If you need the services of a highly experienced and respected forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Dwight A. Owens at Peachstate Psychiatric Services is the expert to contact. To learn more about his extensive forensics experience and how he can help, call the office in Atlanta or book a consultation online.
Forensic psychiatry is the bridge between mental health care and the criminal justice system. Specialists in forensic psychiatry like Dr. Owens have an in-depth understanding of criminal, civil, and case law as it relates to people with mental health conditions who have been arrested.
The responsibilities of a forensic psychiatrist fall into several broad categories:
Forensic psychiatrists perform a competency evaluation to determine whether a defendant has the mental capacity to understand the charges against them and to help their attorney mount a defense.
When a defendant is arrested, they’re evaluated to determine whether they represent a danger to themselves or other people. Forensic psychiatrists are also called upon to assess whether the defendant should be placed in a psychiatric facility or incarcerated.
It’s important to evaluate a defender to determine whether they understood what they were doing when they committed the crime. Their intent to commit a criminal act and understanding the nature of the crime factor heavily into the outcome of their case.
Assessing whether a defender has a mental or emotional issue is important information for a variety of legal cases, not just criminal instances. For example, Dr. Owens may have to determine whether a person is:
As they collect information and perform psychological assessments, forensic psychiatrists must evaluate the facts without bias. Dr. Owens must also be prepared to serve as an expert witness when called to testify about an evaluation.
Forensic psychiatric covers diverse services, but those often performed by Dr. Owens include:
If you have questions about forensic psychiatry, call Peachstate Psychiatric Services or use online booking to schedule an appointment.