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Relating to procedures regarding defendants who are or may be persons with a mental illness or intellectual disability.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
CSSB 49 would require a defendant’s mental illness or intellectual disability interview report to be provided to the sheriff or person responsible for the defendant's medical records and the personal bond office or office responsible for supervising pretrial releasees. A magistrate would not be required to order such an interview if the defendant is no longer in custody.
CSSB 49 would exempt a personal bond from containing the required oath if the defendant has an intellectual disability or is incompetent to stand trial.
CSSB 49 would permit a motion in a criminal proceeding to determine whether probable cause exists to believe that a defendant lacks the capacity to understand the criminal proceedings or is unfit to proceed in them. If the court determines probable cause exists, the court would be permitted to dismiss the charges. Such a dismissal would be eligible for appeal by the state.
Under CSSB 49, judges would be prohibited from accepting a plea of guilty or no contest unless it appears that the defendant is mentally competent and their plea is voluntary.
The bill would create new procedures and requirements for competency restoration programs. Eligibility requirements would be revised for psychiatrists and psychologists appointed as experts in insanity defense cases.
Finally, the bill would allow for the modification of a court order for inpatient treatment or residential care under certain circumstances.
Texas Action is neutral on CSSB 49 which is administrative in nature with no apparent connection to our liberty principles.