Sexually Violent Predator Statute (SVP)
Representation for Sexually Violent Offenses
Claims of insanity could dramatically alter the way in which a criminal offense charge and hearing proceed. Therefore, the importance of aligning yourself with a criminal defense attorney that is also knowledgeable in the mental health branch of the legal field cannot be stressed enough. In fact, for cases involving sexually violent predators or allegations of such, the need for a Southern California mental health lawyer is undeniable.
What Is the Definition of a Sexually Violent Predator?
The Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) statute in California defines offenders as:
- Those who have committed crimes of a sexually perverted nature in relation to two or more victims
- Individuals who has been diagnosed with a mental disorder that makes them a danger to others and likely to commit a sexually violent act
Such persons are evaluated and determined that they are likely to repeat similar sexual offenses if allowed release into the community prior to treatment.
What Happens If Someone is Designated a Sexually Violent Predator?
The Department of Mental Health works with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to evaluate and place criminally accused inmates to determine if they suffer from a mental disorder.
If insanity or mental incapacitation is acknowledged, then the establishments set forth in the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act will be used to civilly commit offenders to a mental health institution. Offenders found to be sexually violent predators can be held on civil commitments potentially for the rest of their lives.
Should I Hire an Attorney?
In some cases, mentally ill persons will be recommended (by the Department of Mental Health) to commitment in the state and county of their last conviction. In these cases, a judge will be employed to determine probable cause and a trial will be set as is necessary.
Mental health disability rights exist specifically to protect those who lack the mental capacity to protect themselves. In situations in which an SVP conviction and standard two-year commitment term are at stake, there is no better time to acquire the legal support and guidance of a practicing mental health attorney.
Decades of Experience Helping Clients with Mental Health Issues
At Lessem & Newstat, LLP we have been in the business of criminal and mental health defense for a total of 50 combined years. As such, there is virtually nothing we are incapable of handling when it comes to protecting the rights and freedoms of the mentally ill who have been criminally accused and/or convicted. We have successfully defended hundreds of court trials in which sentencing was reduced or dismissed altogether, and we are both ready and willing to put our skills to work for you as well.
Protect your rights with the help of an associate from our firm. Contact a Southern California sexually violent predator defense attorney today!