Can someone be released earlier than 72 hours?

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Hello! It’s Mark, and welcome back. In this video, I want to talk about the 72 hours hold of the Baker Act and whether or not you can be released before the 72 hours clock expires — and the simple answer to that is yes.

To clarify here, when we talk about the 72 hours clock, we’re talking about somebody who has been involuntarily committed. In other words, somebody who’s there against their will. Suppose you’ve looked at any of the other videos I put out there, you will understand that there are two ways you can be baker acted. Either voluntarily, wherein you’ve agreed to stay there, and you may not even realize you’ve decided to stay there, or involuntary, meaning you were taken there against your will. Perhaps you were taken there by a police officer; you were sent there by a clinician who called the police, or maybe you were in the emergency room, and the doctor decided to baker act you. But either way, you’re there involuntarily.

If you are in the facility involuntarily, that means there is 72 hours clock in which the facility has to either stabilize you and release you, or they have to file a petition with the court asking the court for permission to keep you. But here’s the rub. If you have been stabilized within 72 hours, so perhaps after 24 hours and you’re safe to go home, the facility is supposed to let you go. They don’t get an automatic 72 hours windfall where they get to build your insurance or send you a bill for services rendered just because they get to keep you for 72 hours. It doesn’t work that way. They are supposed to release you before 72 hours. Is that likely to happen if you no longer meet Baker Act criteria? Probably not. In my experience, it’s very rare for somebody to get released before 72 hours, especially if they have health insurance.

With that said, thanks for tuning in. See you in the next one.

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