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Definition - What does Competent mean?

In a legal context, competent means that a person is suitable to stand trial or to give testimony in the sense that they have all of their mental faculties and are knowledgeable on the subject being reviewed. If a person is not legally competent, they would be found unfit to stand trial or to give testimony. Any testimony that a non-competent person gives has to be weighed against the other available testimony. If it is not in line with other testimony or cannot be backed up by a competent individual, it would be discarded.

Justipedia explains Competent

In a court of law, it is important for all testimony being given to come from a source that is truthful and believable. If a person is found to be incompetent, they would not be able to have the benefit of the doubt given to them. Criminals that are found to have committed a crime and are also deemed to not be competent will be assessed psychologically and can be given terms in mental health facilities in lieu of incarceration.

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