Criminal offense, psychiatric diagnosis, and psycholegal opinion: an analysis of 894 pretrial referrals

Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1991;19(1):63-9.


This article presents the results of a study of 894 criminal defendants referred by Virginia courts for evaluation of competency to stand trial or criminal responsibility. All evaluations were conducted on an outpatient basis by mental health professionals who had received specialized training in forensic evaluation. Findings as to the referral questions posed, the criminal offenses charged, and the clinical diagnoses and psycholegal opinions offered by the evaluators are described. Statistical analyses demonstrate significant relationships between both diagnosis and criminal charge and the psycholegal opinion rendered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Crime / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Expert Testimony / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Insanity Defense*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Virginia