How is Mental Fitness Tested?


When using a mental health defense for y our case, you will have to be tested to determine whether you are mentally ill. A mental health evaluation is conducted by physicians to get an overall picture of how your mental health is. They’ll test how well you’re able to think, reason and remember by asking you questions and examining you either vocally or in writing. They will assess how you look, your mood, behavior, thinking, reasoning, memory and overall ability to express yourself. In some cases, they will also conduct a blood or urine test.

mental health patient counselingWhy are mental health evaluations done?

Mental health evaluations can help your physician find out if you have a mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, or anorexia nervosa.

People are usually referred to get a mental health exam because they are having problems at home, work or school. They may also have a court ordered petition for an evaluation after being arrested for a crime that may relate to their mental health.

What is the result of a mental health evaluation?

Mental health evaluations help physicians determine if a person needs treatment for a mental health disorder and if they a danger to themselves or others. If the person does in fact need treatment, the physician can recommend one, including medication.

What happens in mental health evaluations ordered by the court?

After being evaluated, if there is enough evidence to prove that the person needs help with their mental health, the court may order them to treatment. The treatment may be completed at a hospital or at a community based clinic, or both.

The maximum period for court ordered treatment is 365 days. The person ordered to treatment may request a judicial review after 60 days if they believe their circumstances have improved. During the review the court may changes the order for treatment, lessening the amount of days that must be completed or terminating the treatment completely.

Posted in Mental Health, Mental Health Defenses, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , |

Catholic Bishop Urges “Speak Up for Marriage”


Recently the bishop of Shrewsbury spoke up staunchly in favor of the union of marriage and urged his congregation to do the same, during a homily delivered on February 15th. Providing some compelling arguments in favor of holy matrimony, the Rt Rev. Mark Davies spoke before a mass for married couples at St. Columba’s Church recently, contending that the increasingly taboo subject of marriage was damaging to society.

The Bishop implored his congregants, comprised of married couples celebrating a range of anniversaries, some celebrating up to 65 years of marriage to one another, to speak up in favor of marriage and to support it. Bishop Davies called upon the Church to, “rebuild a culture of the family based on marriage.” He pointed out that teachers are often now afraid to teach the traditional marriage model to students, in part as a measure of respect to students’ backgrounds, but due in large to the trepidation and taboo nature that marriage has adopted as of late, according to Davies.

Davies elaborated further, stressing the urgency of the issue, contending that,”the Church may well find herself amongst the last voices in society whole-heartedly speaking for the family based on the strong foundation of the lasting, life-giving, faithful union of one man and one woman.” Davies explains that the breakdown of families is not only financially but socially harmful to our society as a whole, but more specifically for young people who are experiencing and being shaped by splitting families. Davies even addressed the shifting landscape in politics, urging our political leaders to hold true to the values of the traditional family model.

The message is really driven home as the mass was held before a wide range of couples, who’s combined years of marriage was said to total over 2,500 years cumulatively, really highlighting a poignant note about the age old institution of marriage. You can read the full copy of Bishop Davies’ sermon here.

Via: Independent Catholic News

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Guidelines for a Criminal Offense in Phoenix, Arizona


Criminal offenses in the state of Arizona are divided into two categories, felonies and misdemeanors. These two categories are further divided into several different classifications. This classification is represented by numbers, with a lower number representing a more serious offense. Serious offenses are usually categorized as felonies, whereas the less serious crimes and offenses are categorized as misdemeanors. Some of the sentencing guidelines for criminal offenses in Arizona are given below:


The less serious crimes are classified as misdemeanors and the penalties for such crimes are generally less severe as compared to felony crimes. In Arizona, and in most other states, a misdemeanor offense is classified as follows:

Class 1 misdemeanor – This offense usually has a potential incarceration of up to 6 months.

Class 2 misdemeanor – A Class 2 misdemeanor includes a possible of 4 months incarceration.

Class 3 misdemeanor – This is the most lenient type of misdemeanor offense and involves up to 30 days incarceration.

Depending on the severity of the offense, the offender may also have to face fines and be ordered drug and alcohol screening by court. The fine amount depends on the facts and severity of the case, such as a previous criminal record. The court may also order community service.


The more serious crimes such as burglary, aggravated assault, use and possession of illegal drugs etc. are considered felony crimes and fall in this category. They carry more serious consequences as compared to misdemeanor sentences. The classification of felony crimes in the state of Arizona are given below:

Class 1 felony – This is considered the most serious felony crime and carries up to 25 years to life in prison. In case of First Degree Murder cases, the state of Arizona allows the death penalty.

Class 2 felony – A Class 2 felony carries a jail sentence of up to 5 years in case of a presumptive charge, with other penalties and fines. In more serious cases, like an aggravated Class 2 felony, the jail sentence can range up to 12.5 years.

Class 3 felony – This carries a jail sentence of up to 3.5 years in presumptive cases and up to 8.75 years in an aggravated offense.

Class 4 felony – 2.5 years up to 3.75 years in an aggravated offense. In case of a mitigating circumstances, the jail sentence is 1 year.

Class 5 felony – 1.5 years in case of a presumptive offense and a maximum of 2.5 years in case of aggravating circumstances.

Class 6 felony – 1 year in case of presumptive circumstances up to 2 years in aggravating circumstances.

Depending on the severity and circumstances of the offense, such as if the offender has a prior criminal record, punishment and sentencing can vary.

Author Bio:

Helfand & Associates, Attorneys at Law, practice in New Jersey and New York.

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Mesa Woman Arrested in Homicide Case


On March 21, Mesa Police officers were called to a Mesa apartment complex near Southern Avenue and Dobson Road after receiving reports of a fight.  When officers arrived at the apartment, they found signs of a struggle, including blood inside the apartment.

At that time, officers were concerned the missing apartment resident, Vanessa Mendoza, was either injured or possibly dead,  However, now the 27-year-old woman has been arrested by police and booked into jail on charges of hindering prosecution and concealment of a dead body.

According to the police report, investigators discovered that a homicide had taken place at Mendoza’s apartment and they eventually discovered the 27-year-old woman and her boyfriend, Genaro Silva, at a Chandler home. 

Mendoza refused to speak with police, however, Silva did not.  He revealed to police that on March 15 he went to Mendoza’s apartment, found her with another man, 39-year-old Daniel Barraza Gomez, and then hit the man with a hammer many times, eventually killing him.

According to Silva’s tale, Sylvia Olivas and Christopher Alejo, came to the apartment later that day, and Alejo allegedly stole money from Gomez and helped roll Gomez’s body in bedding.  The two men then  removed the body from the apartment, placed it into a vehicle and then drove to a secluded area on the Salt River Pima Indian community.  The body was then placed into a dry wash and set on fire. 

Police were able to locate Gomez’s remains from the Indian Reservation.

Silva has been charged with one count of second degree murder in the death of Gomez.  He has also been charged with hindering prosecution and concealment of a dead body.

Alejo has been charged with robbery, hindering prosecution and concealment of a dead body. 

Olivas, who is the mother of Mendoza, was arrested and charged with concealment of a dead body.

Original story found here.

Posted in Uncategorized, Violent Crime |