Criteria and Considerations for Mental Health Court in Clark County

Criteria and Considerations for Mental Health Court in Clark County

The Mental Health Court (MHC) in Clark County provides both misdemeanor and felony cases. MHC is a specialized alternative treatment program for offenders with serious mental illness. By choosing a “pre-plea” option, participants who are prepared to dedicate themselves to the program can take advantage of an inclusive approach. The program attempts to discharge charges after successful completion. Additionally, it provides a transformative path for persons ready to make good life choices.

How Can I Participate in the MHC program?

To engage in this program, participants must opt for the “pre-plea” option, which involves waiving their right to a speedy and jury trial. Additionally, they must agree to a stipulated facts trial if the case is terminated or opted out. Participants commit to entering and adhering to the terms outlined in the program agreement. Successfully completing the program leads to the dismissal of pending charges, offering a transformative opportunity for those actively seeking positive life changes.Top of Form

Am I Eligible for this Program?

In Clark County participation in the Mental Health Court Program requires an applicant to:

  • Reside in Clark County and be over the age of 18.
  • Have a diagnosis of a major mental disorder and/or a co-occurring substance abuse problem, and express a voluntary desire for this treatment option.
  • Have a capacity to understand legal proceedings’ consequences and fully understand the expectations and conditions outlined in the Mental Health Court agreement.
  • Must get approval for the pre-plea program from the Prosecuting Attorney or Vancouver City Attorney’s Office.

What are some Disqualifications for this Program?
There are a few factors that may disqualify participation in this program which include but is not limited to:

  • Having a criminal history involving serious violent offenses.
  • Having any pending charges or outstanding warrants in any jurisdiction.

Who are some Key Players in this Program?

· Defense Attorney (your attorney)

· Prosecuting Attorney/City Attorney

· MHC Coordinator

· Treatment Agency Representatives

· Probation Officer from Clark County District Court Probation Division

· Law Enforcement Representative

Prior to every Mental Health Court (MHC) session, the team will get together to review your case and assess how well you are adhering to MHC regulations and managing your rehabilitation. During the court session, we will discuss these findings with you. The Judicial Assistant, Superior Court Clerk, MHC Program Associate, and representatives of many community organizations and service agencies are among the other people you might see on a daily basis in court.

How Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer can Help:

Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer would be happy to assist you! We can lay out your options and reasonable outcomes for your case. Our attorneys are experts in criminal defense, able to tailor unique strategies to give you the best outcome. By taking a comprehensive approach, our attorneys will advocate or your case. Beyond legal representation, we are dedicated to advocating for your recovery. Our team strives to ensure that the legal process aligns with your journey toward improved mental health, providing support and guidance every step of the way.

When you choose the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer, you can trust that you have a committed team of legal professionals working tirelessly to protect your rights and achieve favorable results in your case.

Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer would be happy to designate an attorney to talk to you about this specialized alternative treatment program. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have and if you are likely to qualify. Please note the information in this article is a tool for general information about Mental Health Court. If you would like more information, it is highly advised to reach out to an attorney. More details and specifics can be found on the court’s website at https://clark.wa.gov/district-court/mental-health-court . Also please keep in mind there are similar programs in other counties. If you have a similar occurring issue or would like to talk about further options call (360) 334-6277 to schedule an appointment today!

Clark County Mental Health Court Participation Overview

Clark County Mental Health Court Participation Overview

Clark County’s Mental Health Court (MHC) program provides an excellent alternative for persons facing both misdemeanor and felony charges. For individuals who are willing to collaborate with a committed team striving for success, this program offers an outstanding chance. We examined the eligibility for some applicants in our earlier blog post, “Criteria and Considerations for Mental Health Court in Clark County.” This blog will go into additional detail about what it means to participate in Mental Health Court and how we can support you during that process.

What does the MHC Program Look like?

Clark County’s Mental Health Court (MHC) Program takes a four-phase organized approach, with each step aimed to help individuals grow and ultimately enable community reintegration. Here’s a brief overview of the program:

Phase 1: Orientation/Engagement (Minimum 2 months)

  1. Weekly court reviews
  2. Weekly probation officer meetings
  3. Attend treatment groups and individual sessions
  4. Develop coping skills and identify strengths
  5. Work towards stable housing and transportation
  6. Medication adherence

Advancement Criteria for Phase 2: Complete all Phase 1 requirements, a minimum of two months in Phase 1 since opting in, and other specific criteria.

Phase 2: Intensive Treatment (Minimum 2 months)

  1. Weekly court reviews
  2. Bi-monthly probation officer meetings
  3. Complete “Seven Dimensions of Wellness” Worksheet
  4. Budgeting and financial responsibility
  5. Attend treatment groups, learn about mental health and/or substance use disorder diagnosis
  6. Engage in community support groups and activities
  7. Develop support networks

Advancement Criteria for Phase 3: Complete all Phase 2 requirements and meet specific criteria.

Phase 3: Community Engagement (Minimum 4 months)

  1. Bi-monthly court reviews
  2. Bi-monthly probation officer meetings
  3. Continued budgeting and financial responsibility
  4. Ongoing treatment engagement
  5. Building a Continued Care plan
  6. Emphasis on community involvement and support networks

Advancement Criteria for Phase 4: Complete all Phase 3 requirements and meet specific criteria.

Phase 4: Maintenance (Minimum 4 months)

  1. Monthly court reviews
  2. Monthly probation officer meetings
  3. Continued budgeting and financial responsibility
  4. Ongoing treatment engagement
  5. Continued development of Continued Care plan
  6. Focus on long-term stability and healthy activities

Advancement Criteria for Commencement: Complete all Phase 4 requirements, a minimum of four months in Phase 4, and meet specific criteria.

This planned method guarantees that participants proceed through the program, addressing their specific needs at each stage. The purpose is to help persons achieve independence and successful community reintegration.

Please note this a generalized plan as provided by the Clark County Mental Health Court. Individuals are subject to modifications depending on their case and the terms of their agreement. If you have further questions on this program, feel free to reach out to the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer to give you further guidance. A comprehensive breakdown of Mental Health Court Participation can be found on the Clark County Court’s webpage: https://clark.wa.gov/sites/default/files/media/document/2022-06/MHC%20Participant%20Handbook.pdf

At the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer, we take great satisfaction in supporting our clients’ wellness in addition to their legal needs! Every client is important to us, and we strive to provide beneficial options to enhance their wellbeing. We are pleased to help you at every stage if you or someone you know is interested in learning more about this program or is qualified to apply for Mental Health Court. For a free consultation regarding any criminal matter you may be facing, call (360) 334-6277.

What Happens When You Are Accused of Date Rape?

Date Rape Charges in Washington

What is date rape?

Date rape is generally defined as having sexual intercourse with the person whom you went on a date, without given consent. Some of the more common elements that lead to allegations of date rape are the use of drugs or alcohol, and choices that the accused makes that forces the accuser into a position where allegations seem to be the only solution. If you are facing Date Rape Charges in Washington, understanding the legal nuances and seeking experienced legal representation is crucial.

What should I do if I am being accused of Date Rape Charges in Washington?

When you are first accused of a date rape, you may be contacted by authorities as part of their investigation. It is highly recommended that you DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE. Know your rights, and understand that you have the right to remain silent, and anything you say can and WILL be used against you. Talking to the police gives them the right to take what you say, and spin it around in whatever way it suits them. If you do decide to talk to the police, make sure that you have an attorney present at all times, so that they may advise you on what to say, and to speak on your behalf if given permission. Our lawyers at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer will not only help you with the authorities, but will also provide you with a plan to move forward with your case.

How does intoxication play a role in this?

Intoxication can play a large role in the state of mind a person may be in, aiding in the facts of a particular incident at hand. When a person voluntarily consumes drugs or alcohol that alters their mental or physical condition, this is referred to as voluntary intoxication. In contrast, involuntary intoxication happens when a person unintentionally consumes a substance that makes them impaired. Both voluntary and involuntary intoxication can play a large role in the aftermath of date rape.

Voluntary Intoxication

Voluntary intoxication might cause poor judgment, weakened boundaries, and a higher likelihood of participating in unsafe or harmful conduct when out on a date. Everyone must be conscious of their personal limitations and choose wisely while consuming alcohol or other drugs. A person has not necessarily given their permission when they are voluntarily intoxicated. It’s essential to understand that permission must be provided intentionally and with clarity of mind, and that if someone is very intoxicated to the point of having poor judgment or being incapacitated, they might not be able to offer consent that is legally binding. In fact, some legal systems hold that any sexual action that takes place when a person is too inebriated to agree is non-consensual and is thus regarded as sexual assault. This is because someone who is impaired may not be able to adequately articulate their boundaries or understand what they are consenting to. In other words an intoxicated “yes” or consent can leave you at risk for many legal implications in the future.

Involuntary Intoxication

In contrast, involuntary intoxication can occur when someone is drugged without their knowledge or permission. This is possible due to the usage of “date rape” drugs, which are frequently slipped into beverages without the person’s awareness. If a person believes they have been drugged, they should seek medical assistance right once and report the occurrence to the police. Involuntary intoxication can also impair one’s capacity to consent. If someone is drugged without their knowledge or agreement, they may become unconscious and unable to grasp what is going on or adequately articulate their boundaries. In such instances, any sexual activity would be regarded non-consensual and hence a kind of sexual assault. Individuals should emphasize their safety and well-being on a date, and take precautions to avoid being drugged, such as keeping an eye on their drink and refusing beverages from strangers.

What constitutes consent?

A person’s consent is their approval of another person or group to carry out a certain action or activity. In general, consent must fulfill the following characteristics in order to be considered valid:

  1. Voluntary: Consent must be given freely, without coercion, pressure, or threats of any kind. The person giving consent must have the ability to freely make the decision to agree or disagree.
  2. Informed: Consent must be given with a clear understanding of the nature, purpose, and potential consequences of the action or activity.
  3. Specific: Consent must be given for a particular action or activity, and it cannot be assumed to apply to other activities.
  4. Active: Consent must be given through an affirmative action or statement, such as saying “yes”. 
  5. Reversible: Consent can be withdrawn at any time, and the person who has given consent must be informed of this right.

It’s vital to understand that different sorts of consent are necessary in different contexts, such as sexual consent, medical consent, and agreement for research study participation. The conditions for valid permission may differ slightly based on the situation in each case.

What are the consequences of being accused of Date Rape Charges in Washington?

When it comes to not obtaining consent before sexual contact with another individual who is intoxicated,it is rape in the second degree according to the Revised Code of Washington. This is because in the Revised Code of Washington, rape in the second degree is forcible non-consentual sexual intercourse with an adult that is physically helpless, mentally incapacitated, or vulnerable or frail adults. This conviction can carry incredibly heavy consequences that can affect you for the rest of your life. As a class A felony, it can come with punishments such as up to life in prison, lifetime probation, lifetime sex offender registration, and up to $50,000 in fines.

What does Law say about Date Rape Charges in Washington?

Washington State’s Revised Code of Washington (RCW) includes several sections related to sexual assault, including date rape. Here are some relevant RCW sections related to date rape:

RCW 9A.44.040: This section defines the crime of rape in the third degree, which includes sexual intercourse without consent where the victim is mentally incapacitated. This can include cases of date rape where the victim is drugged or otherwise unable to consent.

RCW 9A.44.050: This section defines the crime of rape in the second degree, which includes sexual intercourse without consent, where the victim is compelled to submit by force or threat of force. This can include cases of date rape where the victim is coerced or threatened with sexual activity.

RCW 9A.44.060: This section defines the crime of rape in the first degree, which includes sexual intercourse without consent where the victim is compelled to submit by force or threat of force, and one or more aggravating factors are present. Aggravating factors can include the use of a deadly weapon, infliction of severe bodily injury, or commission of the offense during a kidnapping.

RCW 9A.44.076: This section defines the crime of sexual assault in the third degree, which includes non-consensual sexual contact where the victim is mentally incapacitated. This can include cases of date rape where the victim is touched sexually without their consent.

RCW 9A.44.079: This section defines the crime of sexual assault in the second degree, which includes non-consensual sexual contact where the victim is compelled to submit by force or threat of force. This can include cases of date rape where the victim is coerced or threatened with sexual activity.

RCW 9A.44.080: This section defines the crime of sexual assault in the first degree, which includes non-consensual sexual contact where the victim is compelled to submit by force or threat of force and one or more aggravating factors are present. Aggravating factors can include using a deadly weapon, infliction of severe bodily injury, or commissioning of the offense during a kidnapping.

RCW 9A.44.040: This provision defines rape in the third degree, which involves sexual intercourse without permission when the victim is unable to agree due to physical or mental incapacity. This includes situations of date rape where the victim is under the influence of drugs or otherwise unable to agree.

RCW 9A.44.050: This section defines rape in the second degree as sexual intercourse without consent in which the victim is coerced to comply by force or fear of force. This includes situations of date rape in which the victim is pressured or threatened into engaging in sexual activity.