Psychologists who have advanced training in the interface between psychology and the law and meet certain formal training requirements are referred to as forensic psychologists. Clinical psychologists who are experienced in dealing with the legal aspects of mental health matters but who are not forensic psychologists have psycholegal expertise. Drs. Michael and Herdina are forensic psychologists practicing at The Arroyos®. Other clinical psychologists practicing at The Arroyos® may have extensive psycholegal experience working with attorneys, the court system, and the mental health legal system.
Attorney Consultations: Some Arroyos® psychologists meet with attorneys to assist with a variety of legal concerns pertaining to patient care. Arroyos® forensic psychologists meet with attorneys to provide extensive forensic psychological services, including case consultation and review.
Forensic Psychological Evaluations: The Arroyos® forensic psychologists conduct complex, detailed forensic evaluations of patient records in consultation with attorneys and other professionals to address a variety of referral questions.
• Competency to stand trial (does a defendant understand the nature of the criminal charges and can he or she rationally assist his or her attorney in his or her defense)
• Competency to undergo immigration hearing (can the applicant understand the proceedings, understand and rationally exercise his or her rights in the proceedings, respond to allegations, present relevant information effectively, and avail him or herself of various forms of relief)
• Not guilty by reason of insanity (did a defendant know the nature of what they were doing at the time of a crime and / or did they know the wrongness of what they were doing)
• Risk assessment (given examinee characteristics, situational factors, and examinee history, estimate a likelihood or risk level for violent or sexual offending within a given time frame)
• Fitness for duty (for non-law enforcement occupations only; for example, is a troubled employee appropriate for full or limited duty, when, and under what conditions)
• Academic accommodations (for example, does a given student, examinee, or trainee qualify for extra time or other modifications to tests or courses, according to disability law and institutional rules)
• Privately contracted workers’ compensation assessments (is there a psychological injury, was it incurred at work, how should it be treated, after treatment does it still cause compensable impairment)
Expert Witness Testimony: Some clinical and forensic psychologists are experienced in providing expert witness testimony in areas of expertise in state and federal court.
Alternative Sentencing Proposals: Some clinical and forensic psychologists are experienced in preparing extensive and detailed proposals for treatment of patients who have been previously evaluated by an Arroyos® forensic psychologist and found to have a mental disorder that was instrumental in the commission of a crime that would be amenable to treatment; the alternative sentencing proposal is prepared for the criminal defense attorney to present to the prosecution and judge to propose treatment rather than incarceration
Alternative Sentencing Treatment: If an Alternative Sentencing Proposal is accepted and if the court so desires, The Arroyos® can implement and complete Alternative Sentencing within the various Services described here.
Case Management and Court Liaison: The Arroyos® additionally can serve in a case management role and also serve as a liaison to the court and the probation officer if requested to do so.
LPS Conservatorships: Some Arroyos® psychologists who have hospital privileges are able to complete LPS Conservatorships within a hospital setting if so desired by a patient’s family, if the patient meets criteria for an LPS Conservatorship. The psychologist provides the documentation for the LPS Conservatorship, manages the legal and clinical team, and goes to court on the day of the LPS hearing and testifies regarding the LPS conservatorship if necessary.