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Forensic Psychiatry Specialist

Dwight A. Owens, MD -  - Psychiatrist

Peachstate Psychiatric Services

Dwight A. Owens, MD

Psychiatrist located in Atlanta, GA

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 Q & A

What is forensic psychiatry?

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.

What are the responsibilities of a forensic psychiatrist?

The responsibilities of a forensic psychiatrist fall into several broad categories:

Competency to stand trial

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.

Danger to self or others

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.

Mental state

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:

  • Liable for injuries to a third party in a motor vehicle accident
  • Capable of writing a will or entering into a contract
  • Well enough to return to work following a workers’ compensation claim
  • Qualified for disability income in an insurance dispute

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.

What types of services are provided?

Forensic psychiatric covers diverse services, but those often performed by Dr. Owens include:

  • Competency to stand trial evaluations
  • Competency to manage personal affairs
  • Criminal responsibility evaluations
  • Custody evaluations
  • Fitness for duty evaluations
  • Psychiatric disability evaluations
  • Violence and substance abuse risk assessments
  • Automobile accidents
  • Disability evaluations

If you have questions about forensic psychiatry, call Peachstate Psychiatric Services or use online booking to schedule an appointment.