What does “not criminally responsible” mean?

4. Go to your NCR hearing

At your not criminally responsible (NCR) , the judge or jury will listen to about what your mental health was at the time of the . This usually includes listening to the psychiatrist who assessed your mental health.

To decide if you're NCR, the judge or jury must believe that:

  • you had a mental disorder when you committed the crime
  • your mental disorder stopped you from understanding what you were doing, or from understanding the difference between right and wrong

In most criminal cases the judge or jury will either convict or acquit the accused person. But NCR is a completely different type of outcome. NCR means that even though you committed a crime, because of your mental disorder you aren't responsible for what you did. So, if you're NCR, you're not or acquitted.

Instead, your case moves from the court to the (ORB) to decide what the outcome should be. This is called a disposition hearing. See Step 5 for more details about ORB disposition hearings.

Temporary outcome

Before sending your case to the ORB, the judge can make a temporary decision about the outcome in your case. If this happens, the judge will start a disposition hearing at the court. You, your lawyer, and the Crown will get to tell the judge what you think the temporary outcome should be.

But, in most cases, the court will send the case straight to the ORB for the disposition hearing.

Other court orders if you’re NCR

Before sending your case to the ORB, the Crown can ask the judge for orders to stop you from doing certain things. For example, the judge can order you to not have any weapons. Or the judge can make an order for the government to add you to the Sex Offender Registry if you've been found guilty of a sex crime.

Waiting for the ORB hearing

If you were on before your NCR hearing, you'll likely stay on bail until your ORB hearing.

But if you were already in , you will stay in custody. While in custody, you might be transferred to a psychiatric hospital where a doctor can assess you further before your ORB hearing.

If you were already in custody, you can ask the judge who found you NCR to release you on bail before your ORB hearing. It is up to the judge whether to give you bail or not.

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