What does “not criminally responsible” mean?

1. Find out if the Crown thinks that you’re NCR

If you and the Crown both think that you're not criminally responsible (NCR), you can arrange for a psychiatrist to give their professional opinion about whether you're NCR. The psychiatrist will meet you and review the in your case. The psychiatrist will then write a report saying whether they think you're NCR. The report is called a psychiatric assessment.

After you see the results of the psychiatric assessment, if you and the Crown both still agree that you're NCR, then you and the Crown can tell the judge together. If you do this, the judge starts an NCR . The judge reviews the psychiatric assessment, listens to what your lawyer and the Crown have to say, and makes a final decision about whether you're NCR.

If you and the Crown don’t agree

But, if you and the Crown don't agree that you're NCR, then the person who thinks you're NCR must be the one to ask the judge for an NCR hearing.

If it is you who wants an NCR hearing, you can ask the judge for one before, during, or after your . Choosing when to start your NCR hearing is a strategic legal decision. You should talk to a lawyer about when is the best time to start an NCR hearing in your case.

If it is the Crown who wants an NCR hearing, they usually have to wait until after the trial. They can only start the NCR hearing if you're found guilty. But if you or your witnesses start talking about your mental condition during your trial, the Crown can ask the judge to order a psychiatric assessment during your trial even before you're found guilty.

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