Murphy Conservatorships in California
Who Is Eligible for Murphy Conservatorship?
Conservatorships are court-ordered appointments of a guardian (or conservator) who attend to the daily affairs and management of personal belongings on behalf of those who are unable to do so for themselves. When it comes to mental health and the instability of a person's sanity, conservatorships take shape in the form of a Murphy conservatorship. For persons who are deemed inept to attend a sanity hearing or mental health court trial, a Murphy Conservatorship will need to be established.
The criteria for establishing Murphy Conservatorship for an individual will require showing:
- The individual is not competent to stand trial and has outstanding felony charges involving causing great physical injury or death of another person
- The individual is gravely disabled with a mental health disorder
- The individual poses a threat to self and/or others
Mental incompetency, as determined under Section 1370 of the Penal Code, will call for the civil commitment of a defendant that has been accused of a violent criminal offense in Southern California. There is no way to tell when - if ever - a person who suffers from insanity will regain their sense of mental wellbeing. Therefore, sanity hearings are scheduled to establish whether or not an accused individual has the mental stability required to withstand trial.
There is no telling how long this type of civil commitment could continue to be extended for; therefore, finding a mental health lawyer on whom you can rely to protect your mental health disability rights could be vital to your future.
What Happens When a Person Is Placed Under Murphy Conservatorship?
The conservatorship will be put in place in order to attend to the fact that the defendant remains dangerous and unable to stand trial in a sane manner. As such, a person placed under Murphy Conservatorship will remain under civil commitment until it can be proven that they are no longer dangerous or incompetent.
During the conservatorship, the individual will receive mental health treatment at a facility. Annual extensions of a Murphy appointment can be made if the individual remains dangerous and/or incompetent to attend to their own affairs.
How a Mental Health Lawyer Can Help
When it comes to the questioning of a person's mental health, criminal defense tactics will only take a defendant so far. The restoration of sanity for a person who has fallen mentally ill could come quickly or it could take a number of years to regain. No one wants to draw out the legal process any longer than is necessary, but when it comes to mental health cases, continual extensions are much more likely to occur. However, no matter how long anyone remains mentally incapacitated and under the confines of civil commitment they may still require legal representation to secure their rights and wellbeing.
Aggressively Protecting Your Best Interests
At Lessem & Newstat, LLP we have been able to help hundreds of mentally ill clients who have been criminally charged. Our services extend to areas throughout the San Fernando Valley, Ventura County , and Orange County. Without strong legal defense on your side you stand to lose a lot. This is true whether you are in the pre-filing stages of a mental health case, you are in the middle of a trial being held in Department 95, or you are stuck in the interim period between a civil commitment holding and a trial date. We know how crucial it is to have aggressive legal defense by your side at every step of the way, and we are here to make sure that your legal needs are met at all times.
Don't wait to contact a Southern California Murphy Conservatorship attorney from our firm today.
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