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Florida’s Baker Act Lawyers

Thoele Drach is the preeminent Baker Act defense law firm in Florida. If you or a loved one are facing the horror of an involuntary psychiatric examination (“Baker Acted”), and don’t meet the criteria under Florida Statute § 394.463, freedom and rights are at risk. We aggressively enforce our clients’ rights under Florida Statute § 394.459.

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    Thoele Drach, Jacksonville, Florida

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    Why You Should Choose Our Baker Act Lawyer Team

    There are many Baker Act Law firms out there, here’s why we’re your best choice.

    Thoele Drach, Jacksonville, Florida - Personal injury and Car accidents lawyers

    Wrongful Baker Act

    When someone you love is unlawfully Baker Acted, we move fast. Because we have an aircraft to fly to clients throughout Florida, we are able to handle cases when most attorneys won’t answer their phone. We’re aggressive and our reputation with hospitals and Baker Act receiving facilities was hard-earned. If you see another attorney advertising their services for Baker Act defense, they have probably attended our continuing legal education courses.

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    Have you or someone you know recently been Baker Acted?

    Our Baker Act Attorneys, Amanda Thoele & Justin Drach, are ready to help. We specialize in helping clients with issues associated with the Baker Act, including related legislation like the Marchman Act.

    Call us now if you or a loved one has been sent to a facility by a law enforcement officer, court, or mental health professional.

    What is the Florida Baker Act?

    The Florida Baker Act, also known as the Florida Mental Health Act, is a comprehensive mental health law passed in 1971. It allows for involuntary examination (what some call emergency or involuntary commitment) and provides for the delivery of needed mental health services to individuals who are unable to volunteer or consent due to mental illness.

    The Baker Act also enables family members, caregivers, and guardians to request an involuntary examination on behalf of a person with mental illness if that person appears to meet certain criteria.

    Baker Act Criteria

    Under the Baker Act, individuals may be detained involuntarily for up to 72 hours in a treatment facility if they meet either one of two sets of criteria:

    1. They have refused voluntary admission into a treatment facility, and there is reason to believe that without care or treatment the person is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself/herself and that this neglect will result in harm to his/her well-being.
    2. There is reason to believe that the individual has a mental illness and because of it:
      1. he/she has refused voluntary admission into a treatment facility; and
      2. as a result of his/her mental illness, his/her judgment is so impaired that they are incapable of appreciating their need for such treatment; and
      3. without care or treatment, the person is likely to cause serious bodily harm to themselves or others in the near future as evidenced by recent behavior.
    “My daughter was released from Unlawful Baker Act that horrible place were they took our rights and freedoms away in less 5 hours.”
    “They handle my case immediately and my case was dismissed in a few weeks.”
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    Your Rights Under the Baker Act

    Treatment facilities must prove that you meet certain criteria to be held for a period of non longer than 72-hours.  If the Baker Act comes to an end over a weekend or holiday, this may extend it beyond the 72-hour period.  If mental health professionals or law enforcement cannot provide proof, you may be released without condition.  

    The Baker Act provides certain rights to individuals who are admitted into a mental health facility under this law. These include the right to:

    • Receive appropriate and adequate treatment from qualified professionals
    • Object to any unnecessary or unwanted medications, treatments, or procedures
    • Refuse to participate in experimental research without informed consent
    • Receive information about the purpose of the hospitalization
    • Have family members notified of admission and other important events
    • Request release from involuntary commitment prior to court hearing
    • Participate in community services that may be available after leaving the facility, such as transportation assistance, vocational training, housing assistance, etc.

    You can watch this short YouTube video for an explanation of a patient’s rights under the Baker Act. 
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    Thoele Drach, Jacksonville, Florida

    Amanda Thoele

    Baker Act Attorney

    Baker Act Lawyers

    Thoele Drach

    Since 2015 we’ve been here to serve our clients with the expertise, knowledge, and understanding that everyone deserves.

    Our team can assist with all legal issues and have a large breadth of experience, both legal and personal.

    Thoele Drach, Jacksonville, Florida

    Justin Drach

    Baker Act Attorney



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    Frequently Asked Questions for a Baker Act Lawyer

    There are many Baker Act Law firms out there, here’s why we’re your best choice.

    Also known as the Florida Mental Health Act, the Baker Act exists to provide emergency mental health services in Florida. It allows for the involuntary examination and treatment of individuals who may be suffering from a mental illness or substance abuse issue.

    The Baker Act in Florida allows for an involuntary examination to be conducted if the person meets certain criteria. The criteria generally involve a threat of harm to themselves or others or showing signs of mental illness which requires them to be evaluated for their safety and well-being.

    Yes, you can refuse a Baker Act in Florida as long as the criteria for an involuntary examination are not met.

    No, the maximum length of time that someone can be involuntarily examined or treated under the Baker Act is 72 hours. After this period has expired, there must be proof from law enforcement officers or mental health professionals in order for the hold to

    Anyone can initiate a Baker Act in Florida as long as they meet certain criteria, including law enforcement officers, mental health professionals, social workers, or any other professional who is authorized to do so.

    A Baker Act can be lifted by either a court or by the mental health professionals who initiated the examination. The court will make its decision based on the evidence presented, while the mental health professional may lift it if they believe that the person is no longer in need of care and treatment.

    The maximum length of a Baker Act hold in Florida is 72 hours, although this can be extended in certain circumstances. After the 72-hour period has passed, an extension must be approved by law enforcement officers or mental health professionals.

    Express and informed consent is a process that occurs when an individual is given clear information about a particular activity or treatment, and then voluntarily agrees to participate. The goal of this process is to make sure individuals are aware of potential risks and benefits associated with the activity or treatment before they agree to participate. When providing express and informed consent, the individual should be provided with all relevant information in an understandable manner so that they can make an informed decision. and benefits associated with any activity or treatment prior to participation.