Who Has the Burden to Show Incompetence to Stand Trial (in California)

In People v. Smith (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 492, a doubt as to defendant's mental competency was expressed following three days of trial, a competency hearing was held, proceedings were then suspended, and defendant was committed to the state hospital for treatment. Upon restoration of competency, trial resumed and defendant was convicted. (Id. at pp. 498-499.) Defendant claimed that "continuing with the trial violated due process because he was incompetent during earlier portions of the proceedings," and that "therefore his conviction must be reversed." (Id. at p. 503.) The appellate court disagreed. As the court explained, "it is appellant's burden to show incompetence." (Id. at p. 504)