(a) When the trial court determines by a preponderance of the evidence, in accordance with AS 12.47.100 , that a defendant is so incompetent that the defendant is unable to understand the proceedings against the defendant or to assist in the defendant’s own defense, the court shall order the proceedings stayed, except as provided in (d) of this section, and shall commit a defendant charged with a felony, and may commit a defendant charged with any other crime, to the custody of the commissioner of health and social services or the commissioner’s authorized representative for further evaluation and treatment until the defendant is mentally competent to stand trial, or until the pending charges against the defendant are disposed of according to law, but in no event longer than 90 days.
Terms Used In Alaska Statutes 12.47.110
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
- Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
(b) On or before the expiration of the initial 90-day period of commitment, the court shall conduct a hearing to determine whether or not the defendant remains incompetent. If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant remains incompetent, the court may recommit the defendant for a second period of 90 days. The court shall determine at the expiration of the second 90-day period whether the defendant has become competent. If, at the expiration of the second 90-day period, the court determines that the defendant continues to be incompetent to stand trial, the charges against the defendant shall be dismissed without prejudice, and continued commitment of the defendant shall be governed by the provisions relating to civil commitments under AS 47.30.700 § 47.30.915 unless the defendant is charged with a crime involving force against a person and the court finds that the defendant presents a substantial danger of physical injury to other persons and that there is a substantial probability that the defendant will regain competency within a reasonable period of time, in which case the court may extend the period of commitment for an additional six months. If the defendant remains incompetent at the expiration of the additional six-month period, the charges shall be dismissed without prejudice, and continued commitment proceedings shall be governed by the provisions relating to civil commitment under AS 47.30.700 § 47.30.915. If the defendant remains incompetent for five years after the charges have been dismissed under this subsection, the defendant may not be charged again for an offense arising out of the facts alleged in the original charges, except if the original charge is a class A felony or unclassified felony.
(c) The defendant is not responsible for the expenses of hospitalization or transportation incurred as a result of the defendant’s commitment under this section. Liability for payment under AS 47.30.910 does not apply to commitments under this section.
(d) A defendant receiving medication for either a physical or a mental condition may not be prohibited from standing trial, if the medication either enables the defendant to understand the proceedings and to properly assist in the defendant’s defense or does not disable the defendant from understanding the proceedings and assisting in the defendant’s own defense.
(e) A defendant charged with a felony and found to be incompetent to proceed under this section is rebuttably presumed to be mentally ill and to present a likelihood of serious harm to self or others in proceedings under AS 47.30.700 § 47.30.915. In evaluating whether a defendant is likely to cause serious harm, the court may consider as recent behavior the conduct with which the defendant was originally charged.