What does “not criminally responsible” mean?

3. Participate in the assessment

The psychiatrist will meet with you and then write a medical report about:

  • your personal background,
  • your medical history,
  • the they reviewed in your case,
  • their interview with you about your background and charges,
  • their interviews with anyone else relevant to your case or medical history, such as members of your family, or the victim of the crime, and
  • whether you're not criminally responsible (NCR) by reason of mental disorder.

They might ask you to sign a consent form. The form gives the doctor permission to get your hospital records, or to speak to your family and health-care professionals.

If you want the judge or jury to say you're NCR, then it's important that you participate in the assessment and talk to the doctor. The doctor will also be able to look at all of the evidence in your case.

If you don't participate or talk to the doctor, the doctor will still write the report using other sources of information like the evidence in your case, court transcripts, medical records, and interviews with other people.

Using what you say in an assessment

The court can't use what you say in the NCR assessment against you at . For example, if you talk to the doctor about the crime, the Crown can't use what you say as evidence at your trial if you're not found NCR.

But there are some times when the information in the assessment can be used against you.

If you say something in the assessment and then say something very different at trial, the Crown might question you about why your statements are different. The Crown can also use the differences in the statements to try to prove that you were lying under oath if you're charged with .

Things you say in the assessment can also be used against you during your NCR if the judge decides you are a high-risk offender. The Crown can ask the judge to say you are a high-risk offender if you commit serious violent offences. If the judge agrees with the Crown, then you will be kept in the hospital for many years, and possibly for the rest of your life.

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