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Will Getting Counseling Prior To Trial Help My Case?

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

The forthright answer would be no. Instead, what is preferable to sending somebody to generic counseling is to order a diagnostic evaluation, including brain imaging, performed at one of the Amen Clinic locations.

These clinics are the world leader in brain imaging psychiatric diagnostic evaluations. In addition to a series of questions and psychological tests, the Amen Clinics also perform two sets of brain imaging. Consider this: would you let a doctor perform surgery on you or put a cast on you for a broken bone without an X ray? So why would you allow a physician to give you chemical surgery on your brain in the form of medication without taking a look at it. When you think of it that way, your reaction would be, “Wow! You are right. That doesn’t even make sense.”

Getting accurate brain imaging, rather than counseling, is a recommended course of action because Florida has a rule of procedure most people haven’t heard of, Rule 3.992 and Section A, which is the felony scoresheet calculation set up so that points are assessed for various offenses, and then ultimately at the bottom, under Rule 3.992 A, a point total is created; and if the number is greater than 44, then the sentencing judge must impose a prison sentence unless Rule 3.992 B kicks in. Under Rule 3.992 B, there is a list of grounds for mitigation that justifies a non-prison sentence and a felony. In a misdemeanor case, there is also justification for a non-prison sanction. This can be used to negotiate diversion programs, which are sometimes much better than prison.

Diversion programs are used more frequently for negotiated dismissals, and the reason for this preference is that the treatment is based on that person’s needs. There is a real problem with people getting treatment that is going to fail even before they go into it. A classic example is the alcohol treatment that is given in DUI cases. Level 1 DUI classes and follow up counseling fail so spectacularly that people with alcohol problems routinely get more DUI arrests. What do we do? There is multi-offender DUI counseling. So the first set of one-size-fits-all counseling failed so badly that we are going to do it again just to make sure it doesn’t work. It doesn’t make sense, but neither do a lot of things in the criminal justice system.

So if it looks like some type of mental health treatment will help, a brain imaging-based diagnostic evaluation is recommended.

So a diversion program and brain imaging can be looked at as killing two birds with one stone. These will take care of the legal problem in terms of the diagnostic evaluation, as well as the treatment recommendations. A lot of things harm the brain, and a lot of things help the brain; and if there’s an emotional or mental problem of some kind, your attorney should make sure to get the best diagnostic evaluation possible for you.

This is not some politician’s idea of one-size-fits-all amateur medicine. People deserve the best, particularly when they need help more than they’ve ever needed it in their lives.

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

For more information on Counseling Prior To Trial, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (850) 466-1522 today.