The 72 hour clock in the Baker Act statute may be a figment of your imagination
Hello, everyone. It’s Mark. And welcome back. In this video, I’m here to tell you that the 72 hours clock that you find inside the Baker Act statute. Well, it just may be a figment of your imagination.
It may not be real. So you’re probably going wondering, well, what do you mean it’s not real? It’s written into the statute. It says, My loved one can only be held for up to 72 hours. And you’d be right about that.
But it still may be a figment of your imagination. And here’s why. First of all, typically, when somebody is Baker acted either at an emergency room or at a facility, they’re asked to sign paperwork. And it may be that your loved one was asked to sign paperwork, which, unbeknownst to them, was what’s known as a voluntary admission agreement. And what that means is that you’ve agreed to stay there.
And sometimes they’ll threaten you and make you sign it and say, if you don’t sign it, we’ll keep you forever. Or we’ll go get a court order and keep you forever, or words to that effect. Or they’ll just give you a piece of paper and say, listen, we’ve got some documents here. Do you mind signing it? Or they’ll say, listen, we just need you to agree to consent to treatment.
And now what’s happened is you’ve signed a voluntary admission agreement. And by signing that agreement, even though it may have been coerced or you didn’t realize you were signing it, the 72 hours clock does not exist. It doesn’t come into play. It’s not there. And so there’s no 72 hours.
In fact, if you sign a voluntary admission agreement, you could potentially be there indefinitely. Now, do I think facilities is going to keep you forever? Probably not. But if you sort of fit into one of the categories that I’ve talked about in other videos, such as you’ve got health insurance, I would say that you’ll be there for an extended period of time. And guess what?
No due process, no hearing, no judge, no lawyer. You are deprived of contact from your loved ones. Zero, nothing. You’re stuck there. And so the whole idea of the 70 02:00 sort of being in play simply doesn’t exist.
How else could it be a figment of your imagination? Well, if you were taken to a hospital and were ready to be, quote, medically cleared, the medical clearance section of the Baker Act statute tolls, in other words, stops the 72 hours clock from running. So let’s say that you were brought there by emergency medical technicians. You came in an ambulance or even the police brought you and the hospital, you would take it to an emergency hospital. They decide that you need some medical attention, or at least you need to be checked out.
So that sort of checking out, that medical clearance part of the statute starts to kick in. And what it means is that the 70 02:00 doesn’t start to run or if it has started to run, it stops. It tolls until a doctor notes in your medical file that you’ve been medically cleared. And so it could take a couple of days for you to be medically cleared. It could take a week to be medically cleared.
What happens if you’re medically cleared within, say, a couple of days or a couple of hours and the hospital can’t find a facility to place you in? Well, guess what? The 72 clock hasn’t started to tick. In fact, it’s probably not going to start ticking until you get to the place they want to transfer you to. So now you spend two or three days in the hospital and you get to a facility and let’s say they don’t get you to sign a voluntary admission agreement by hook or by crook, and you’re there involuntarily.
So now the 70 02:00 starts to tick. So you’ve spent two days at the hospital, maybe three, and another 72 hours of Baker Act facility, and now almost a week has gone by and you haven’t seen a judge, no due process, no right to cancel, none of those things. Okay, so that’s another way that this quote could be a figment of your imagination. The third way, I guess, is when the facility just flat out ignores the law, they simply don’t bother to follow it. And you’re like, well, how can that be?
Well, as I’ve said in other videos, the facilities report to nobody. Nobody even knows you’re there. I mean, your family members know that you’re there, but nobody with authority to audio you released has any idea that you’re there. And as I’ve talked about in Florida, if you get arrested, God forbid, right? If you can’t post bomb for whatever reason, within 24 hours of your arrest.
Okay, so you’ve been alleged to have committed a crime and no one’s here to tell you that you’re guilty. But an allegation has been made by typically by a small police officer that you’ve committed a crime. You get to see a judge within 24 hours who decides if there is probable cause. Was the probable cause to arrest you? In other words, probable cause to believe that you actually committed the crime.
And if there is probable cause, is there a bond amount that’s reasonable in nature so that you don’t have to get detained in custody? And guess what? You get a right to counsel, you get a right to remain silent and all the sort of constitutional protections that we’re sort of all familiar with if you watch law and order or things of that nature. Right. So here you are.
You have been alleged to have committed a crime. You get all these wonderful constitutional protections within 24 hours of your rest. And yet here you are. If you’ve been Baker, active, and in theory, you don’t get any of those things, you might never see a judge. Which is why, as I’m going to say in this video and if I sound like a broken record, I apologize.
And I’ve said in other videos when it comes to the Baker Act the time to act is now you have to move quickly if you don’t want to get stuck there for an extended period of time, so could you be released within 72 hours? You could be, but in all likelihood if you go there and you meet the criteria that I’ve talked about in my other videos such as health insurance there’s a good chance you’re going to get stuck there and you’re going to get stuck there for an extended period of time. It could be a week, it could be a month, it could be 30 days, it could be 60 days. I’ve had people call me that were ordered into a facility for six months. So this stuff is serious and if you’re a family who has a loved one stuck in a Baker Act facility so I’m here to tell you time is of the essence, you got to move quickly otherwise you risk your love on getting stuck there for a long time.
Anyway, with that said, we’ll see you in the next video. If you have any questions you can find us at bakeractortunes.com you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call us 561-419-6095. With that said, see you in the next video. Bye.