Section 916.301, Florida Statutes 2004
916.301 Appointment of experts.--
(1) The department shall provide the courts annually with a list of retardation and autism professionals who are qualified to perform evaluations of defendants alleged to be incompetent to proceed due to retardation or autism. The courts may use professionals from this list when ordering evaluations for defendants suspected of being retarded or autistic.
(2) If a defendant's suspected mental condition is retardation or autism, the court shall appoint two experts, one of whom must be the developmental services program of the department, each of whom will evaluate whether the defendant meets the definition of retardation or autism and, if so, whether the defendant is competent to proceed.
(3) At the request of any party, the court may appoint one additional expert to evaluate the defendant. The expert appointed by the court will evaluate whether the defendant meets the definition of retardation or autism and, if so, whether the defendant is competent to proceed.
(4) The developmental services program shall select a psychologist who is licensed or authorized by law to practice in this state, with experience in evaluating persons suspected of having retardation or autism, and a social service professional with experience in working with persons with retardation or autism to evaluate the defendant.
(a) The psychologist shall evaluate whether the defendant meets the definition of retardation or autism and, if so, whether the defendant is incompetent to proceed due to retardation or autism.
(b) The social service professional shall provide a social and developmental history of the defendant.
(5) All evaluations ordered by the court must be from qualified experts with experience in evaluating persons with retardation or autism.
(6) The panel of experts may examine the defendant in jail, in another appropriate local facility, or on an outpatient basis.
(7) Expert witnesses appointed by the court to evaluate the mental condition of a defendant in a criminal case shall be allowed reasonable fees for services rendered as evaluators and as witnesses, which shall be paid by the county in which the indictment was found or the information or affidavit was filed. State employees shall be paid expenses pursuant to s. 112.061. The fees shall be taxed as costs in the case. In order for the experts to be paid for the services rendered, the reports and testimony must explicitly address each of the factors and follow the procedures set out in this chapter and in the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure.
History.--s. 23, ch. 98-92.