Unfortunately, many people are threatened with involuntary commitment to a mental health institution – and in some cases, well-meaning friends and family members are successful at seeing it through.
But if you’re involuntarily committed to a mental institution, you still have rights. Working with a caring, compassionate mental health attorney may be the best way to get help.
Involuntarily Committed to a Mental Institution: What Next?
Wisconsin law allows involuntary commitment if police or other authorities have probable cause to believe that the person is mentally ill, dependent on drugs or developmentally disabled, provided that commitment can result in successful treatment and the person is a danger to themselves or other people.
If you have been involuntary committed to a mental health facility, you have the right to get a copy of the petition and detention order that put you there. You also have the right to a written statement that says you have the right to an attorney’s representation, and you definitely have the right to be present at any hearings involving your commitment. You (or your attorney, on your behalf) have the right to question witnesses and call witnesses to help you, and you can testify on your own behalf, as well. Finally, you have the right to a hearing on probable cause for your detention within 72 hours of your arrival at the facility, as well as to a jury trial if you request it more than 48 hours before your final hearing.
Your lawyer can walk you through all these rights and explain your options, and he or she can call witnesses for you. You don’t have to try to fight involuntary commitment alone – you have the right to legal representation every step of the way.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Involuntary Commitment to a Mental Institution?
If you’ve been committed to a mental facility against your will, we may be able to help you – and we can certainly answer your questions and explain what happens next. Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation with a Milwaukee mental health attorney now.