Forensic Psychology

When a legal matter requires the service of a psychological expert, a highly qualified and experienced professional is essential to providing the perspective that the court needs in order to make a fair decision. Whether the case pertains to criminal charges, competency, or civil issues, a comprehensive and objective evaluation is important to all stakeholders.

Dr. Cox’s approach to forensic psychology is built around an unparalleled attention to detail in his evaluations, which have earned him an excellent reputation in the courtroom. He delivers superior work in all of his professional endeavors, recognizing the paramount importance of accurate and thorough psychological evaluations as they relate to the law.

In the area of forensic psychology, Dr. Cox specializes in the following:


Determining Responsibility: Using information from a detailed history and psychological testing, Dr. Cox determines if:

  1. the individual had the ability to appreciate the nature and quality of the acts which resulted in the alleged crime
  2. he or she knew that the acts that resulted in charges were wrong
  3. the defendant suffers from a severe mental disease or defect, with consideration to the prognosis relative to the disorder
  4. if there is evidence that the individual malingered his or her psychological difficulties

Determining Competence to Stand Trial: Considering a individual's history and psychological testing results, Dr. Cox determines whether the individual:

  1. can consult effectively and assist in his or her defense in a reasonable and rational fashion
  2. possesses a rational and factual understand of the nature and consequences of the criminal proceedings at hand
  3. suffers a mental disease or defect and what effect such a disorder might have had in the situation at hand
  4. may or may not have malingered psychological difficulties to avoid responsibility

Determining Competence to Plead: Dr. Cox consults the inidividual's history and psychological testing results to determine if:

  1. he or she is aware of the constitutional rights waived by making a plea, and is intentionally waving those rights
  2. he or she understands the various options relative to a plea decision
  3. he or she suffers a severe mental disease or defect and the prognosis relative to it
  4. he or she is able to make a reasoned, free, and intelligent choice relative to the plea decision and has done so
  5. the individual did or did not malinger psychological difficulties

Mitigation: A psychological evaluation may reveal factors in a person’s life that are helpful to the court in putting alleged acts in a richer context before making decisions regarding how most appropriately to discharge the case.


Competence for Guardianship/Conservatorship/Making a Will: A guardianship may be necessary if an individual no longer has the ability to make reasonable decisions about his or her health or safety. A conservatorship can help an individual who can no longer effectively manage financial decision-making. Dr. Cox completes detailed psychological evaluations to help the court determine competency in cases of guardianship or conservatorship, and/or determining if an individual is competent to make a will.

Competence in Custody Issues: A psychological evaluation can be valuable to the court in determining what is in the best psychological interest of a child. During the evaluation process, Dr. Cox takes into account factors such as family dynamics and interactions, cultural and environmental variables, relevant challenges and aptitudes for all involved, and the child’s educational, physical, and psychological needs.

With regard to parental competency, a psychological evaluation assists the court in appropriate decision-making in custody cases. Evaluations focus on a parent’s skills, deficits, values, and tendencies as they relate to a child’s psychological needs.

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