At Leppard Law: Florida DUI Lawyers & Criminal Defense Attorneys PLLC, we understand the diverse legal needs of our clients. While our primary focus is on DUI and criminal defense representation, we also recognize the importance of providing information on other significant legal matters that may affect individuals and their families. One such area of law in Florida is the Baker Act, a statute designed to address mental health emergencies. Although we do not provide Baker Act representation ourselves, we have compiled a list of resources to help you understand the process and seek appropriate assistance.
Understanding the Baker Act:
The Florida Mental Health Act, more commonly known as the Baker Act, is a statute that allows for the involuntary examination and, if necessary, the involuntary commitment of individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Under Florida Statutes § 394.463, an individual can be taken into custody and transported to a designated mental health facility if they meet the following criteria:
There is reason to believe that they have a mental illness.
They are unwilling or unable to accept voluntary examination.
They pose a substantial likelihood of causing serious bodily harm to themselves or others in the near future, as evidenced by recent behavior.
The purpose of the Baker Act is to ensure that individuals receive timely and appropriate mental health evaluation and treatment in a crisis situation. The law also aims to protect the rights of those subject to the Baker Act by imposing strict procedural requirements for involuntary examination and commitment.
The Baker Act Process:
Initiation: The Baker Act process can be initiated by law enforcement officers, mental health professionals, or judges. Law enforcement officers can initiate the process if they believe that an individual meets the criteria for involuntary examination. Mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, or licensed clinical social workers, can also initiate the process if they have examined the individual and determined that they meet the necessary criteria. Lastly, judges can issue orders for involuntary examination based on sworn testimony or written affidavits.
Involuntary Examination: Once an individual is taken into custody under the Baker Act, they must be transported to a designated mental health facility for examination. The examination must be conducted within 72 hours of arrival at the facility. During this period, the individual is evaluated to determine if they meet the criteria for involuntary inpatient or outpatient treatment.
Involuntary Commitment: If the examining mental health professional determines that the individual meets the criteria for involuntary treatment, they must file a petition with the court for involuntary inpatient or outpatient treatment. The individual has the right to a hearing and representation by an attorney. If the court finds that the individual meets the criteria for involuntary treatment, they can be committed for an initial period of up to six months. The commitment can be extended by the court upon a finding of continued need for treatment.
List of Baker Act Resources:
Although Leppard Law does not provide representation for Baker Act matters, we understand the importance of finding the right resources to help individuals and their families navigate this challenging process. Below, we’ve compiled a list of resources to assist you in understanding the Baker Act and finding appropriate legal representation:
Learn how to get legal help with guardianship, mental health, and involuntary commitments issues in central Florida. Do you need to establish Guardianship over someone who can no longer make decisions for themselves? You may have questions regarding involuntary commitment laws such as the Baker Act or Marchman Act.
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Talmadge Law Firm
Talmadge Law Firm has a focus on Baker Act Florida patient rights. Our baker act attorney handles all issues related to patient rights. Contact us now!
Drug & Alcohol Attorney
The Florida Mental Health Act, also known as the Baker Act, allows the involuntary examination of individuals based on mental illness and their substantial likelihood of harming themselves or others.
Please contact our Florida Baker Act attorney, Mark Astor, 24/7/365 for a confidential consultation, at 561 419-6095
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Parris Law, PA
Florida’s Baker Act is a law that allows police and doctors to force individuals into an involuntary, 72-hour mental health examination at an inpatient psychiatric unit. People can also be held longer for treatment upon court order. Know your rights under the Baker Act before it happens.
If your loved one has been Baker Acted, please call us at (407) 706-3967.
The Health Law Firm represents individuals and families in challenges and hearings related to the Florida Baker Act,
It is extremely important for you to be represented by a lawyer at all legal, administrative and peer review proceedings. You may believe that if a matter is focused on medical or health issues, you are equipped to handle the issue on your own, but even the most informal proceedings can have serious legal implications. At The Health Law Firm, we will use our experience, resources, and in-depth knowledge of the health care industry to assist with your case.Please contact us at (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 or by filling out the form below.Main Office:
1101 Douglas Avenue, Suite 1000
Phone: (407) 331-6620
Fax: (407) 331-3030By Appointment:37 N. Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: (407) 331-6620
Fax: (407) 331-3030By Appointment:201 E. Government Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
Phone: (850) 439-1001thehealthlawfirm.com
Have questions on what the Baker act is and how it will help? Read our article on how this may be the best option for a loved one.
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