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Name: People v. Amonson
Case #: C043461
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/16/2003
Subsequent History: None

The trial court did not err in requiring a developmentally disabled defendant to remain in a locked facility for 180 days after he had been found not competent to stand trial. The defendant here was charged with two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter in connection with a drug-related car accident in which he also suffered serious injuries, including brain trauma. Due to concerns about defendant’s competency, proceedings were instituted under Penal Code section 1368. The experts appointed to examine the defendant agreed that he was not competent to stand trial. The prosecution petitioned for a hearing on the issue of placement, raising concerns about whether the defendant presented a danger to the health and safety of others. The court granted this request. All of the experts who examined the defendant determined that he did not pose a danger to others and recommended a home placement with his mother. At the conclusion of the placement hearing, the court ordered that appellant be placed in a locked facility for 180 days. The court of appeal rejected the defendant’s argument that section 1370.1 does not require a minimum period of treatment in a locked facility for developmentally disabled persons who are found not competent to stand trial, holding that section 1370.4 and section 1601 together prohibit outpatient treatment under these circumstances unless the defendant has been confined in a residential facility for 180 days. The court further found that the statutory scheme was constitutionally reasonable.