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Criminal Responsibility

Criminal responsibility (commonly referred to as “insanity”) essentially examines the defendant’s mental status at the time of the offense.  Although the particular standards vary by state, in order to be found criminally responsible the defendant typically has to have known both the nature of his/her actions and that those actions were wrong.


An evaluation for criminal responsibility typically includes a thorough psychosocial history, history of psychiatric symptoms and mental health treatment, and an exploration of the defendant’s perceptions during the incident for which he or she was arrested.  The evaluation usually also involves the administration of psychological instruments in order to objectively assess psychological functioning.  Additionally, the evaluation will usually include a review of relevant records and consultation with collateral sources (i.e. relatives, friends).


In addition to the standard training in applying psychosis and mania to criminal responsibility, North Star Mental Health, LLC, has particular training and experience in the application of PTSD to criminal trials.  This experience includes evaluating people with PTSD from sexual trauma, physical assaults, and military combat.


Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to serve as legal information or advice.  It is not a guarantee of how a specific evaluation will or should be conducted, as each evaluation is unique and requires an individual approach.

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