Tests Used to Determine Competency to Stand Trial In Texas

A person is incompetent to stand trial in Texas if he lacks either: (1) sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding or; (2) a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him. See TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 46.02 1A(a) (Vernon Supp. 2000). The trial court is required to hold a hearing to determine whether a defendant is competent to stand trial if "during the trial evidence of the defendant's incompetency is brought to the attention of the court from any source." TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 46.02 2(b) (Vernon Supp. 2000). A hearing is required only if the evidence brought to the judge's attention raises a bona fide doubt in the judge's mind as to the defendant's competence to stand trial. See Collier v. State, 959 S.W.2d 621, 625 (Tex. Crim. App. 1997). In general, a bona fide doubt is raised only if the evidence indicates recent severe mental illness, at least moderate mental retardation, or truly bizarre acts by the defendant. See id. Any evidence constituting more than a mere scintilla is sufficient to raise the issue of competence. See Arnold v. State, 873 S.W.2d 27, 35 (Tex. Crim. App. 1993).