FORENSIC EVALUATIONS & FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY SERVICES

Sex Offender Risk Assessment

Violence Risk Assessment

Capital Murder

Competency to Stand Trial

Criminal Responsibility

Consultation

Expert Witness

Guardianship

Immigration

VA Disability

Fitness for Duty

Worker's Comp

Both Dr. Roy Etheridge and Dr. Mary Anne Etheridge have rich forensic backgrounds and offer specific evaluations, forensic consulting, and expert testimony. Both doctors have testified as expert witnesses in Wake County. Forensic psychological services are not healthcare services; rather, they are expert services provided for a legal purpose. Forensic services cannot be billed to your health insurance company.

Court ordered psychological evaluation Cary NC
Civil Cases
Court-Ordered Evaluations and Other Services in Civil Cases
Child Custody Evaluation Cary NC
Criminal Cases
Court-Ordered Evaluations, Consultation, and Expert Testimony
Forensic Psychologist Cary NC
Forensic Services Not Related to Court

RATES FOR FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST SERVICES

 

Our rates are subject to change at any time without notice. The following information is provided only as a guide to our fees for forensic services. These rates do not apply when the service is paid for by the State of North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services (NCIDS) or another agency with which we have a prior arrangement. 

Our rate is $250 per hour for forensic services. Following are the various forensic psychological services we provide, estimated retainer requirements, and anticipated total fees. This is not a guarantee that your total fees will be exactly the same. Retainer requirements will be higher for evaluations rendered outside of our office (e.g., in an attorney’s office or institution) and may also be higher if we determine that more time than usual will be involved (e.g., extensive record review, travel, collateral phone calls). If the evaluation you are seeking does not appear in this list, please call us. We may offer the service you need. 

 

Important Note: Forensic (legal related) services require the retainer to be paid upon scheduling. You will not be scheduled without the retainer being paid. No work product will be completed until all outstanding fees are paid. 

General Forensic Psychological Evaluation

Retainer: $2000

Total Fee Estimate: $2000-$3000

A mental health evaluation/assessment aimed at determining whether the assessed individual suffers from any psychological symptoms or personality characteristics that may impact the legal issue at hand. Questions the court or attorney have asked are answered by this evaluation. It is often completed pursuant to a court order or an attorney’s recommendation. Typically includes a forensic interview with the psychologist and psychological testing, after which a forensic psychological report is written and delivered to the attorney or the court. May also include the psychologist requesting the person’s prior mental health records, reviewing legal documents, and/or speaking with certain collateral contacts.

Violence Risk Assessment

Retainer: $2000

Total Fee Estimate: $2000-$3000

A psychological evaluation that is aimed at assessing an individual’s overall mental health as well as determining the risk that the individual will engage in violent behavior in the future. May be requested by an attorney, court, school, or employer. Typically involves forensic interviews with the individual, psychological testing, review of legal and mental health records, and speaking to certain collaterals. The psychologist seeks to answer specific questions about the individual that have been posed by the court or attorney.

Psychosexual Evaluation with Risk Assessment

Retainer: $2000

Total Fee Estimate: $2000-$4000

For individuals who have been charged with a sexual offense. A psychological evaluation that assesses the individual’s overall mental health as well as a detailed assessment of the individual’s sexual history, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Additionally, the psychologist assesses the risk that the individual will engage in sexually deviant acts in the future. Typically involves forensic interviews with the individual, psychological testing, review of legal and mental health records, and speaking to certain collaterals. The psychologist seeks to answer specific questions about the individual that have been posed by the court or attorney.

Guardianship Evaluation

Retainer: $2000

Total Fee Estimate: $2000-$4000

When it is suspected that an adult lacks the mental/psychological ability to care for themselves, handle their own finances, or make other important decisions, a guardianship evaluation can be helpful. This evaluation is typically ordered by a court or recommended by an attorney. The evaluation typically involves clinical interviewing with the individual, psychological testing, review of prior mental health and medical records, review of any legal records, and collateral contacts with family and other individuals. The psychologist seeks to answer specific questions about the individual that have been posed by the court or attorney.

Immigration Evaluation

Retainer: $2000

Total Fee Estimate: $2000-$3000

When an individual is seeking to be allowed to remain in the U.S. legally and there are psychological or psychosocial factors that may impact the government’s decision, an immigration evaluation can be helpful. This evaluation typically involves forensic interviews with the individual, psychological testing, review of legal and mental health records, and speaking to certain collaterals. The psychologist seeks to answer specific questions about the individual that have been posed by the court or attorney.

 

Fitness for Duty Evaluation

Retainer: $2000

Total Fee Estimate: $2000-$3000

This type of evaluation is usually requested by the individual’s school, college, workplace, or church. It can be requested as a pre-employment condition in high-risk jobs such as police officer, security guard, or church official. This assessment is aimed at determining whether the individual has the psychological capacity to handle the requirements of the job and to work safely with others. This evaluation may also be requested if the individual was involved in an incident at work or school or if the individual has displayed behaviors that raise concerns. This evaluation typically involves forensic interviews with the individual, psychological testing, review of legal and mental health records, and speaking to certain collaterals.

Worker's Comp/Disability Evaluations

Retainer: $2000

Total Fee Estimate: $2000-$3000

This type of evaluation typically involves a psychological evaluation and testing of the individual to assist in a Worker's Compensation or disability claim. We do not determine whether you qualify for benefits. VA examinations vary - please call our office for more information.

Consultation Services

Retainer: varies; please call

Total Fee Estimate: varies; please call

We may be hired by attorneys to consult on a case. Examples include educating the attorney about a client’s mental illness, assisting in jury selection or trial, or critiquing another psychologist’s work.

Court Testimony - Half Day

Retainer: $1500

Total Fee Estimate: $1500-$2000+

We may be asked to testify in court as an expert regarding an evaluation we have conducted. The evaluation report may be read out loud in open court, and we must answer questions about the report and what transpired during conversations with the subject and any other individual. We may be asked to discuss our knowledge regarding the research in a specific area of psychology as it relates to the subject. We may also be asked to educate the court on a specific mental health-related topic. Retainer includes preparation estimate.

Court Testimony - Full Day

Retainer: $2500

Total Fee Estimate: $2500-$3000+

Frequently Asked Questions about Forensic Evaluations

What is a forensic evaluation?

In short, a forensic evaluation is any psychological evaluation that is related to a legal proceeding. This includes court-ordered psychological evaluations, violence risk assessments, parenting capacity evaluations, competency to stand trial examinations, guardianship evaluations, or any other evaluation related to a civil or criminal legal proceeding. Psychologists also provide services other than forensic examinations, such as attorney consultation, expert witness testimony for the purpose of educating the court about a specific psychological matter, and fact witness services.

 

To make matters a bit more confusing, certain services are considered to be forensic psychological services that do not involve the court system at all. These include Worker's Compensation examinations, disability evaluations, fitness evaluations for police applicants and other public service applicants, and Veteran's Administration evaluations. These are legal-related evaluations that do not typically involve civil or criminal court. 

 

The forensic psychological evaluation typically involves review of clinical and legal documents, interviews of the respondent and other involved individuals, psychological testing, and writing a report to answer specific questions posed by an attorney or judge. At least two appointments with the respondent are usually required.

How is a forensic evaluation different from a regular psychological evaluation?

Forensic evaluations or examinations are not healthcare services. You are not considered to be our patient or client; the "client" is typically the person or agency that requests the evaluation or service. This allows us to be as neutral as possible, as we do not develop a typical doctor/patient relationship with you. 

 

A forensic psychological report is much longer and more detailed than one completed for healthcare purposes. In fact, we often choose different psychological tests for forensic evaluations than for clinical (non-forensic) evaluations. In clinical evaluations, we are encouraged by health insurance companies to use shorter instruments (although we always used evidence-based instruments and practices) and to write our reports as concisely as possible. Forensic psychological evaluations use the most well-researched psychological tests available without the limitations of health insurance restrictions.

 

The forensic psychologist's goal is not to simply diagnose you but to answer specific questions posed by the "client," such as:

 

"Was this person sane at the time of his offense?" 

"Does this individual's diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease require him to be appointed a guardian to handle his affairs?"

"Is this individual at risk of committing a sexually violent offense if released to the community?" 

 

These questions require the psychologist to have specific education, training, and expertise in forensic psychology. 

Does my health insurance cover my forensic evaluation?

In short, no. Health insurance companies pay for medical services, and a forensic evaluation (or any other forensic service) is not considered to be a medical or healthcare service. Our contracts with health insurance companies specifically state that only medically necessary services are to be billed to them; therefore, no forensic evaluation will be billed to your health insurance company. A forensic evaluation or other forensic service does not involve rendering healthcare services to you. 

Will I get a copy of my forensic evaluation report?

As you are not considered to be a patient or client in a forensic evaluation, you will not get a copy of your forensic evaluation report. This is true whether you paid for the evaluation yourself or not. The report will be delivered to the party requesting the evaluation (e.g., your attorney, a judge, your employer, or other individual or agency). If you wish the forensic psychologist to discuss the results with you, we are happy to provide this service, but you will not be given a copy of the report.

Please note that our forensic psychologists conduct evaluations within the strict ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association and the laws and rules of the North Carolina Psychology Board. As such, we cannot guarantee a specific outcome, diagnosis, or recommendation upon conducting an evaluation. There is a chance that you will be unhappy with the results or that the evaluation will not benefit your case, and we do not issue refunds. We strongly suggest that you discuss with your attorney prior to hiring us for your court-related psychological evaluation, and we also suggest that you have your attorney consult with us prior to the evaluation. Finally, forensic evaluations are legal, not medical services and must be paid out-of-pocket. Forensic services cannot and will not be billed to your health insurance company.