Call us directly: (954) 505-4266

Fax us: (954) 892-6855

Hollywood, Florida View Location

Forensic Services

Dr. Donde has completed the Florida Forensic Examiner Training required by the criminal courts to be an expert witness and conduct forensic psychological evaluations. Within the context of the relevant psycho-legal factors, Dr. Donde is able to clinically assess defendants for competency to proceed and mental state at the time of the offense evaluations. The reports that he generates from these evaluations allow the court to easily apply clinical conclusions to legal decision-making. Dr. Donde is aware of rules of discovery, disclosure, confidentiality and privilege as they relate to forensic assessment for Florida courts. All of his forensic reports will identify the evaluation procedures used, the clinical observations made, the sources of information considered, and the factual basis for the clinical findings.

Ex Parte Evaluations: In Florida, the indigent defendant is entitled to a state-funded evaluation of both sanity and competency. F.R.Cr.P. 3.216(a). The results of an exploratory evaluation are protected by attorney client privilege as information obtained during a competency evaluation may not be used for any other purpose unless the defendant does so first. F.R.Cr.P. 3.211(e).

Competence to Proceed: Since 1899 it has been established that the US constitution assures the right of a criminal defendant to be competent to undertake criminal proceedings (Youtsey v. United States). Today, the rationales for competency to proceed are grounded in the Sixth Amendment’s right to confront accusers, Due process rights to a fair, accurate proceeding (Drope v. Missouri), and society’s desire to preserve the integrity and dignity of the criminal process.

Dr. Donde is attentive to the numerous factors relevant to the Constitutional standard established in 1960 (Dusky v. United States) that have been adopted by Florida (F.S. 916.12(3) and F.R.Cr.P.3.211(a) including a defendant’s:

Capacity to appreciate charges or allegations

Capacity to appreciate the range and nature of possible penalties which may be imposed

Capacity to understand the adversary nature of the legal process

Capacity to disclose to attorney facts pertinent to the proceedings

Capacity to manifest appropriate courtroom behavior

Capacity to testify relevantly*

Insanity: Even as far back as Greek and Roman times, societies have had the idea that a “mad” person who breaks the law should not be punished the same way that a capable person should. Under this premise, attorneys and the courts may be concerned about a defendant’s mental state at the time of the offense. In criminal cases, Florida statute (F.S. 775.027(i) affirms that a person is considered to be “insane” when he or she:

1) Has a mental infirmity, disease or defect and

2) Because of this condition:

a. Did not know what he/she was doing or its consequences, or

b. Although he/she knew what he/she was doing and its consequences, did not know the act was wrong.*

Using clinical and assessment expertise, Dr. Donde is able to make specialized inferences to determine whether significant symptoms of a mental disorder were present at the time of the offense and if these symptoms contributed in substantial fashion to the alleged criminal behavior as outlined above.



Please feel free to contact Broward Psychology at 954-505-4266 for more information regarding forensic evaluations.

*Florida Forensic Examiner Training: University of South Florida