Code of the District of Columbia

§ 24–531.04. Initial competence determination.

(a)(1) A hearing to determine competence of a defendant shall be set:

(A) No more than 30 days from the date the competence examination is ordered for a defendant who is detained or committed for an inpatient examination; and

(B) No more than 45 days from the date the competence examination is ordered for a defendant who is released and ordered to participate in an outpatient examination.

(2) On its own motion or the motion of one of the parties, and for good cause shown, the court may extend the time for the hearing by not more than 15 days.

(b) A defendant is presumed to be competent. Incompetence must be established by a preponderance of the evidence. The burden of proof is on the party asserting incompetence. The court may call its own witnesses and conduct its own inquiry.

(c)(1) At the conclusion of the hearing, the court shall:

(A) Find that the defendant is competent; or

(B) Find that the defendant is incompetent and:

(i) Is likely to attain competence in the foreseeable future or additional time is necessary to assess whether the defendant is likely to attain competence in the foreseeable future; or

(ii) Is unlikely to attain competence in the foreseeable future.

(2) If the court finds the defendant is competent, it shall resume the criminal case or transfer proceeding.

(3) If the court finds the defendant is incompetent and makes either of the findings under paragraph (1)(B)(i) of this subsection, the court shall order treatment for the restoration of competence.

(4) If the court finds the defendant is incompetent and unlikely to attain competence in the foreseeable future, the court shall order either the release of the defendant or further treatment pursuant to § 24-531.06(c)(4).


(May 24, 2005, D.C. Law 15-358, § 104, 52 DCR 2015.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 24-531.03, § 24-531.05, and § 24-531.08.