Presentence Investigation

After you have entered a guilty plea, a court may want additional information about you before it decides what sentence to impose. A court may order a presentence report be prepared prior to your sentencing. First, you must contact the agency that has been ordered to prepare your report within 48 hours of being ordered by the court. Generally, if you have pleaded guilty to a felony or a class A misdemeanor, Adult Probation & Parole (AP&P) will prepare your presentence report. AP&P will provide you with a packet to fill out and a date to return to the agency for an interview. Fill out your packet completely. If you have questions about the packet, call your attorney.

A presentence report contains a great deal of information about you. It will give the court information about your personal history, including your childhood, family, relationships, education, employment, finances, substance abuse history, as well as any mental or physical health issues. The report will also contain information about your criminal history, gang affiliation and performance on past probationary periods. The PSR will give the court a summary of the offense taken from police reports and a statement from you about what occurred. Any victims will have the opportunity to make statements about the offense and AP&P will alert the court to any restitution that they believe to be appropriate. Based on all of this information, AP&P will make sentencing recommendations to the court. AP&P may recommend jail, prison, probation, community service, treatment, or other conditions it deems appropriate.

Bring information that will be helpful to AP&P and the sentencing judge, such as proof that you have completed a recent assessment, are attending or have finished treatment, evidence that you are employed or attending school, and the names and contact information for people who can give you positive references. If you are receiving mental health treatment, bring a letter from your doctor or therapist. If you are regularly attending A.A., you could bring a sign-in sheet showing your attendance. If you regularly volunteer at a non-profit or with a religious group, bring letters from those organizations verifying your positive participation in the community. If you have been saving money up to pay restitution to the victim in your case, bring proof that you have been setting that money aside. If you are unemployed, consider bringing a list that shows how many applications you have sent in and with whom.

You will be expected to bring your packet with you to the oral interview. Make sure that your packet is complete and that you arrive early for your appointment. AP&P will prepare a presentence report for the judge based on your written packet and oral interview. If you fail to get your presentence report or miss the oral interview, some judges will order that you be taken into custody.