A. At any time after the prosecutor charges a criminal offense by complaint, information or indictment, any party or the court on its own motion may request in writing that the defendant be examined to determine the defendant’s competency to stand trial, to enter a plea or to assist the defendant’s attorney. The motion shall state the facts on which the mental examination is sought.

Terms Used In Arizona Laws 13-4503

  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Indictment: The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Mental health expert: means a physician who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 13 or 17 or a psychologist who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 19. See Arizona Laws 6-412
  • Misdemeanor: means an offense for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment other than to the custody of the state department of corrections is authorized by any law of this state. See Arizona Laws 3-1703
  • Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Writing: includes printing. See Arizona Laws 1-215

B. Within three working days after a motion is filed pursuant to this section, the parties shall provide all available medical and criminal history records to the court.

C. The court may request that a mental health expert assist the court in determining if reasonable grounds exist for examining a defendant.

D. Except as provided in subsection E of this section, after any court determines that reasonable grounds exist for further competency proceedings, the superior court shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all competency hearings.

E. The presiding judge of the superior court in each county, with the agreement of the justice of the peace or municipal court judge, may authorize a justice court or municipal court to exercise jurisdiction over a competency hearing in a misdemeanor case that arises out of the justice court or municipal court.

F. A justice of the peace or municipal court judge, with the approval of the presiding judge of the superior court and the justice or judge of the receiving court, may refer a competency hearing to another justice court or municipal court that is located in the county.