Mental Health Lawyer in Massachusetts
Criminal Defense ◊
Juvenile Delinquency ◊
Family Law ◊ Mental Health Advocacy
Attorney William Jacob Megowen, Esq. has protected the rights of individuals with mental illnesses facing criminal charges since 2001. If you or someone you love faces mental health challenges, you want a knowledgeable lawyer to advocate for you if you face criminal penalties for acts stemming from mental illness. He has experience with criminal cases where competence is at issue and also cases with lack of criminal responsibility defenses. Expert witness testimony is usually necessary in these cases. An attorney should be consulted at the first opportunity in any case involving questions of the person's competency or criminal responsibility. If a person is not competent, they cannot understand the most basic aspects of what happens in a criminal prosecution. A person should not even be arraigned if they are not competent. This is particularly important to avoid the criminalization of mental disorders. Even an arraignment for charges that are later resolved can be detrimental to the person when they are searching for jobs, housing, and even getting treatment at certain day programs or hospitals.
Protecting the Rights of Individuals in Mental Health Proceedings
Attorney Megowen protects the rights of individuals in civil commitment hearings, as well as Rogers hearings. A Rogers monitor oversees the administration of antipsychotic medication when a person has been civilly committed or for whom a guardian has been appointed. Attorney Megowen also represents individuals subject to petitions under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 123, Section 35, where civil commitment is sought for drug or alcohol treatment. He has experience advocating for people with mental illnesses in defending against civil commitment in district court, as well as opposing guardianship and Rogers proceedings in probate court. If you have a family member or loved one you want to obtain guardianship for, Attorney Megowen can help with that also.
Many elders want to remain at home, but are no longer able to make their own medical and other decisions. A guardian requires specific authority from the court (Rogers authority again) for certain medications to be given to the protected person. This is true for admission of a relative or loved one to a nursing home as well. If an elder is unaware, confused, or unconscious a family member may seek a guardianship for them. They would file a petition for guardianship in probate court. If needed, they would also request specific authority to give antipsychotic medication to them and/or admit them to a nursing facility. Attorney Megowen can facilitate you obtaining guardianship and a Rogers order also. You will need a medical certificate and probably testimony by a physician before the probate court. It is likely that an opposition will be filed and we will need to convince the probate judge of the need for the guardianship and any specific authority for extraordinary medical care, anti-psychotic medication, or skilled nursing admission.
For a free initial consultation, email us or call us at 978-825-9988 or 978-369-2795 (after hours).