What is a Baker Act?
The Baker Act is a statute in the state of Florida that authorizes the involuntary psychiatric examination of certain individuals. It was created to ensure that people who are a threat to themselves or others cannot travel freely but can be temporarily hospitalized for observation. The law allows for a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist to commit someone on the grounds of incapacity without their consent if they meet certain criteria.
A person can be committed under these circumstances:
1. They have observed dangerous behavior;
2. They are gravely disabled;
3. They suffer from mental illness and there is evidence of such illness by either past behavior or recent events; or
4. They have been the victim of mental illness.
In Florida, a Baker Act can also be applied in the following situations:
1. Someone who is suspected of serious criminal activity or drug or alcohol use;
2. Someone who is suicidal;
3. Someone who has expressed thoughts of hurting someone else;
4. Someone who might be violent because they are under high levels of stress, such as during divorce proceedings or separation from a spouse; or
5. Someone whose physical appearance resembles that of someone committing a crime or in the process of committing one.
Florida law allows people who meet the criteria for a Baker Act to be held up to 72 hours in a psychiatric facility if they are deemed incompetent. If so, a judge has the authority to order them into involuntary treatment. This may include medication and hospitalization.
What is the purpose of the Baker Act? The Florida law is based on the principle that a mentally ill person does not have full control over his or her actions at any given time. This means that someone whose illness causes dangerous behavior can be treated early on before they do harm to themselves or others.
How does Elite-Star Medical Transport support Mental Healthcare Facilities?
Elite-Star Medical Transport can provide transportation services for individuals who are Baker Acted from mental health facilities. In these cases, our professional and courteous staff will be happy to assist you with your transportation needs. Our company strives to provide quality service for all of our customers. We realize that families may have concerns about transporting an individual who has been Baker Acted, but you do not have to worry about proper treatment or safety during your travels with Elite-Star Medical Transport.