Federal Criminal Evaluations

Dr. John Fabian routinely accepts both retained and Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Federal Court appointments (§ 320.20 psychiatrist/psychologist).

Dr. Fabian has been recognized in Federal Courts in a number of states and jurisdictions and has examined hundreds of violent and nonviolent Federal cases. He has expansive experience testifying in Federal Court to the following forensic evaluations.

Competency to Stand Trial

Dr. Fabian evaluates Federal Competency to Stand Trial cases pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4241(a), if there is reasonable cause to believe the defendant may be presently suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent to extent that he is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to assist properly in his defense.

The Dusky standard (Dusky v. United States, 362 U.S. 402 (1960)) held that an individual is competent to stand trial if they sufficiently present the ability to consult with their lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding and they have a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against them.

Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

Federal 18 U.S.C. § 17 – Insanity defense: “It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under any Federal statute that, at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the defendant, as a result of severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts. Mental disease or defect does not otherwise constitute a defense.”

Diminished Capacity at Sentencing

The United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.) sets minimum sentencing for certain Federal crimes and guidelines by which Federal judges may depart in sentencing. A Federal Court may depart downward from the minimum sentence on the basis of diminished capacity if the offense was not violent (U.S.S.G. § 5K2.13) (see United States v. Cook, 53 F.3d 1029 (9th Circuit, 1994)). U.S.S.G. § 5K2.0 allows departure from sentencing minimums for “extraordinary mental condition.” In United States v. Green (9th Circuit, 1997), the Court ruled that the Trial Court had the discretion to depart downward in sentencing based on diminished capacity in a Federal bank robbery case. A successful plea of diminished capacity earns a mitigated and reduced sentence under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and is not a diminished capacity plea earning a not guilty verdict.

Federal Presentence Reports

Dr. Fabian routinely provides mitigation evidence through forensic psychological and neuropsychological examinations pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3552 (Presentence Reports). These evaluations also include sexual and violence risk assessments that can be requested by the defense, prosecution, and Federal Courts.