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Competency in Oklahoma Criminal Law

The term "competency" comes up in Oklahoma criminal law in multiple scenerios and the term competency means different things depending on the situation that it is used in. Competency is most often used in referring to the "competency" of the defendant to participate in the criminal justice system. If a defendant is not competent or there is a doubt as to the defendant's competency than the criminal proceedings must stop until the defendant regains competency. If the defendant is unable to regain competency in a reasonable period of time than criminal charges will be dismissed.

Legal Definition of Competent or Competency

"Competent" or "competency" means the present ability of a person arrested for or charged with a crime to understand the nature of the charges and proceedings brought against him or her and to effectively and rationally assist in his or her defense.(See Oklahoma Statute Title 22 Section 1175.1)

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