A. If the attorney for the defendant gives notice pursuant to § 19.2-168, and the Commonwealth thereafter seeks an evaluation of the defendant’s sanity at the time of the offense, the court shall appoint one or more qualified mental health experts to perform such an evaluation. The court shall order the defendant to submit to such an evaluation and advise the defendant on the record in court that a refusal to cooperate with the Commonwealth’s expert could result in exclusion of the defendant’s expert evidence. The qualification of the experts shall be governed by subsection A of § 19.2-169.5. The location of the evaluation shall be governed by subsection B of § 19.2-169.5. The attorney for the Commonwealth shall be responsible for providing the experts the information specified in subsection C of § 19.2-169.5. After performing their evaluation, the experts shall report their findings and opinions, and provide copies of psychiatric, psychological, medical or other records obtained during the course of the evaluation to the attorneys for the Commonwealth and the defense. The evaluator shall also send a redacted copy of the report removing references to the defendant’s name, date of birth, case number, and court of jurisdiction to the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services for the purpose of peer review to establish and maintain the list of approved evaluators described in subsection A of § 19.2-169.5.

Terms Used In Virginia Code 19.2-168.1

  • Court: means any court vested with appropriate jurisdiction under the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth. See Virginia Code 19.2-5
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.

B. If the court finds, after hearing evidence presented by the parties, that the defendant has refused to cooperate with an evaluation requested by the Commonwealth, it may admit evidence of such refusal or, in the discretion of the court, bar the defendant from presenting expert psychiatric or psychological evidence at trial on the issue of his sanity at the time of the offense.

1982, c. 653; 1986, c. 535; 2016, c. 445.