Clients sometimes ask our Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer for advice on what to say to a presentence investigator who is writing a report on them for the judge. Our office can provide the presentence writer with this information, including your background and social history, your version of the alleged crime and any mitigating factors that might affect sentencing. The probation officer will need this information in order to prepare an accurate report for the judge.
Personal Background Information
You can ask a trusted family member to provide your personal background information to the presentence investigator. This person can organize your information, present your information in a sympathetic light and provide supporting documentation in order to back your story.
Contents and Purpose of the Presentence Report
In addition to your personal information, the presentence report includes police statements, victim statements where applicable, your criminal history and a summary of the writer’s findings. If your information is credible and backed with documentation, the judge will assign a great deal of value to your defense. The presentence writer’s job is to provide the court with all of the relevant facts in the case, no matter how they affect the outcome. He or she has heard many stories and will base a recommendation on the facts of the case, so supporting your claims is key to securing a fair recommendation. Even so, the judge is not usually bound by the contents of the report but will follow the facts of the case and where the evidence leads.
While most crimes carry specific sentencing ranges, the range can vary widely, depending on mitigating and aggravating circumstances. If you have signed a plea agreement, this range is quite defined. Provide the probation officer with facts about the crime, referring to the police reports or trial record and other related laws. The defense lawyer should help the probation officer reach a favorable conclusion in the case in order to secure the best possible recommendation.
Call Our Fort Worth Criminal Defense Lawyer at (877) 208-3382
For insight on how the presentence report can impact your case, contact our Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of Bryan P. Hoeller.