Competence and Sanity in Florida? Michael A Haber PA Miami Criminal Lawyer

When it comes to the criminal process the issues of competence and sanity are very different matters. Competence refers to the here and now, during the criminal process; whereas sanity refers to the time that the offense was committed.

The issue of competence can be raised by anyone (the defense, the State or the Court on it’s own initiative) and requires that forensic mental health evaluators determine whether or not the Defendant understands the nature of the charges against her/him, the range of possible penalties, the adversarial nature of the criminal process (i.e. what the defense lawyer, prosecutor, judge and jury’s roles are), whether or not the Defendant can assist defense counsel in the preparation of her / his own defense, whether s/he can behave appropriately in the courtroom and whether or not s/he can testify in her/his own behalf should s/he choose to do so. If a Defendant is declared incompetent to proceed then s/he goes to a facility for treatment and will be reevaluated every 6 months. 5 years of continued and unbroken incompetence can result in a dismissal of felony charges (the time frame is 1 year for misdemeanors).

The issue of sanity can be raised as an affirmative defense to any criminal prosecution. Essentially doing so is an admission that the Defendant committed the crime but states that at the time s/he was unable to differentiate right from wrong because of a major mental illness or organic brain disorder. Lodging an insanity defense is a huge gamble and should only be undertaken a) by a skilled and experienced professional who understands the nuances of this niche in the criminal process and b) where it is supported by both the facts of the case and the mental health history of the Defendant.

At Michael A. Haber, PA “it’s all about reasonable doubt”!
Please note that no attorney-client relationship with either Michael A. Haber, PA or Michael A. Haber, Esq. exists as a result of your watching this Webisode series. Further any and all information which is both contained in and may be construed from this Webisode series is generic in nature and should only be considered as informational and not as actual legal advise in any specific case. Should you wish to seek actual legal advise then please feel free to contact Michael A. Haber, Esq. as follows:

Office Phone: 305-381-8686
Toll Free Phone: 1-888-SHARK-8-1
Cellular Phone / Text: 305-798-2220
E-Mail: [email protected] / [email protected]
Twitter: @Sharky910

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Michael A. Haber

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "it's all about reasonable doubt"! Whether in State or Federal Courts, Michael A. Haber, P.A. strives to ensure that his client's rights are respected and that his clients receive top-tier legal representation and counsel. For more than a quarter of a century I have striven to make Michael A. Haber, P.A. a business that custom tailors its services to meet the needs of the client. This incorporates such things as (but is not limited to) doing my best to meet clients at their convenience (as opposed to mine), in locations and at times which are mutually convenient (sometimes at their homes, places of business, independent ground - having free wifi and excellent coffee any Dunkin Donuts always works for me - and occasionally even at odd hours), structuring fees to reasonably accommodate the parties, making myself personally available to the client as close to 24/7 as is possible and, perhaps most importantly, giving careful and comprehensive consideration to both micro and macro issues in a given case so as to be able to agree upon and effort toward a viable litigation objective. This is why I refer to Michael A. Haber, P.A. proudly providing "boutique criminal defense litigation" (being "a small company that offers highly specialized services"), and this is a large part of Michael A. Haber, P.A.'s mission statement Accordingly, Michael A. Haber, P.A. has provided personalized and boutique legal services to both individuals and entities, primarily in the South Florida area, since 1991. With no history of professional discipline whatsoever, Michael A. Haber, Esq. zealously advocates his client's interests and custom tailors his services to meet each client's particular situation, needs and desires. Toward that end Michael A. Haber, Esq. makes himself directly available to his clients whether in person, over the phone (305-381-8686 or Toll Free 1-888-SHARK-8-1), by cell, verbally or text (305-798-2220), by e-mail (sharky[email protected]) on Facebook ( ), on Twittter, (@Sharkjy910) on AOL/IM (Sharky910), and also why I consistently add information to the public on both the Michael A. Haber, P.A. Criminal Michael A Haber PA Criminal DUI Defense Litigation Miami Blog ( and with my "Webisode" series on YouTube (, whcih currently features 222 briegf VideoFAQ's on a variety of Criminal Defense, DUI and BUI related topics. When you hire Michael A. Haber, P.A. you get Michael A. Haber, Esq.! And remember, at HaberPA, it's all about reasonable doubt!

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