Code of the District of Columbia

§ 24–531.05. Competence treatment.

(a)(1) If the court makes a finding pursuant to § 24-531.04(c)(1)(B)(i), the court may order the defendant to participate in treatment for restoration of competence on an inpatient or outpatient basis. The court shall order treatment in the least restrictive setting consistent with the goal of restoration of competence.

(2) The court may order inpatient treatment if it finds that:

(A) Placement in an inpatient treatment facility setting is necessary in order to provide appropriate treatment; or

(B) The defendant is unlikely to comply with an order for outpatient treatment.

(3) If the court orders treatment on an outpatient basis, it shall direct DMH or DDS, or both, to designate an appropriate treatment provider. If the court orders treatment on an inpatient basis it shall commit the defendant to Saint Elizabeths Hospital or direct DMH or DDS, or both, to designate an appropriate inpatient treatment facility.

(b) Except as provided in subsections (c) and (d) of this section, the court may order the defendant to undergo competence treatment on an inpatient basis for one or more periods of time, not to exceed 180 days in the aggregate.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, the court may order a defendant charged with a crime of violence, as defined in § 23-1331(4), to undergo competence treatment on an inpatient basis for one or more reasonable periods of time, not to exceed 180 days each, if the court finds:

(1) There is a substantial probability that within the period of time to be ordered the defendant will attain competence or make substantial progress toward that goal; and

(2) Inpatient treatment is the least restrictive setting based on the criteria set forth in subsection (a) of this section.

(d)(1) Excluding extended treatment pending the completion of civil commitment proceedings ordered pursuant to § 24-531.06(c)(4) or § 24-531.07(a)(2), inpatient treatment may last no longer than the maximum possible sentence that the defendant could have received if convicted of the pending charges.

(2) If, during inpatient treatment ordered to restore a defendant to competence, the maximum possible sentence the defendant could have received if convicted of the pending charges expires, the court shall either release the defendant or, where appropriate, enter an order for extended treatment pursuant to § 24-531.06(c)(4) or § 24-531.07(a)(2).

(3) The defendant shall be awarded credit against any term of imprisonment imposed after being found competent for any time during which he was committed to an inpatient treatment facility for either a competence examination or competence treatment.

(e)(1) The court may order the defendant to undergo competence treatment on an outpatient basis for one or more reasonable periods of time, not to exceed 180 days each, if the court finds there is substantial probability that within the period of time to be ordered the defendant will attain competence or make substantial progress toward that goal.

(2) The Department of Mental Health or the treatment provider shall submit a written report to the court at any time it determines that the criteria for inpatient treatment set forth in subsection (a) of this section are met.


(May 24, 2005, D.C. Law 15-358, § 105, 52 DCR 2015; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 22(b), 59 DCR 5567.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 24-531.02, § 24-531.06, § 24-531.08, and § 24-531.09.

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “DDS” for “MRDDA” twice in (a)(3).

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.