Medical professionals must work under specific guidelines when a patient is admitted for a psychiatric examination under Florida’s Baker Act. Patients can remain hospitalized for a period up to 72 hours but once that time has expired, unless the patient is facing a criminal charge, they may only be held in the facility on a voluntary basis or if a judge approves after a hearing.
There are also guidelines in place for when an examination must be complete. For adults, this time frame is 72 hours and 12 hours for minors. Afterward, they must be voluntary or treatment must be ordered by a judge.
In cases where the medical staff has deemed you need medical inpatient care with your psychiatric examination, you shall be given such care. There is no authority under the Baker Act to force only medical care. In some cases, the facility may seek a court order to keep you admitted to the facility on an involuntary basis for psychiatric care. However, if you feel this is inappropriate for your circumstances, you have the right to file a formal complaint.
In cases where you feel you have been detained inappropriately under the Baker Act, your attorney should have a strong understanding of the rules under which confinement is appropriate. Contact Talmadge Law Firm if you feel you were detained inappropriately. We have experience working with those admitted under the Baker Act thanks to my background as a psychologist and interviewing numerous Baker Act patients at a public defender’s office.