So now I’m going to explain about the All-Important-PSR, and how the PSR is considered the defendant’s “Bible” and covers their life history, and will influence every aspect of a Defendant’s future from sentencing, as an inmate in the BOP, to post incarceration while on supervised release.
After a Federal Defendant pleads guilty and becomes a convicted felon, the court will order a PSR be prepared prior to sentencing. Pre Trial Services which is a division of the U.S. Probation Office will first conduct a PSI “Pre Sentence Investigation” on a defendant that includes a personal interview with the defendant documenting all aspects of their past.
An important part of our job, is to make sure defendants don’t inadvertently reveal information to Pre Trial Services that could be detrimental to them being able to participate in BOP programs while in custody.
As part of our service, RDAP Consultants coaches its clients prior to them meeting with the Probation Officer and prepares them for their PSI interview to ensure they provide important information that can have a positive effect on the amount of time they serve.
We thoroughly explain the process and conduct mock interviews using the Probation Office’s actual forms to ensure clients have an understanding what they will be facing. In a PSI Interview a Defendant will be asked to provide information in the following areas:
PROBATION OFFICER’S ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND
The people that work for Trial Services as Probation Officers do not work for the U.S. Department of Justice or the Executive Branch of Government, but for the Judicial Branch of Government, the U.S. District Court. They are classified as Federal Law Enforcement Officers and work as the Court’s investigators and their job at the Pre Sentence / Trial level is to supervise Defendants and ensure they are in compliance with with all policies regarding those on Pre Trail Supervision.
Keep in mind, while Defendant’s should never lie to a Probation Officer, it’s imparative to be careful what you say to them, as it’s their job when doing a PSR on a Defendant is to put them at ease and act real friendly, as a means of getting the defedant to give them information that can be used against them later.
Larry Levine MSNBC Apperances
Before meeting with defendants, the probation officer likely will have the documented the defendant’s prior criminal history and have attempted to verify everything contained in PSI report. Because of this, defendants should not state anything that could be implied as being untruthful; these actions could result in additional criminal charges or in sentencing enhancements for obstruction of justice.
After the PSI Investigation, a PSR “Pre-Sentence Report” is generated with the PSR/PSI being the most important document in a Defendant’s case, and is used by a Judge in determining criminal history, the length of a defendant’s sentence, and why they gave them that sentence.
Pre Trial Service probation officers gather information from several sources. They review the indictment, discovery, the federal prosecutor’s notes, court transcripts, and an outline of the prosecutor’s version of the defendant’s crime. The Probation Officer will take all this Data and use it in conjunction with the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines to determine a base offense level for the Defendant’ crime and apply in enhancements as far as the Defendant’s:
Frequently the Probation Officer’s recommended sentencing range in the PSR will differ from what’s in the Plea Agreement issued by the prosecutor, and what the Defendant’s lawyer puts forth in their Sentencing Memorandum. In the end, it’s all up to the Judge to decide what sentence a defendant is handed down.
To some extent, the probation officer may consider statements made by defense lawyers and the defendant.
Despite the fact Pre-Sentence Investigation Reports are supposed to be impartial and fair, they’re not. In most cases, PSR’s turn out slanted against the defendant in favor of the Government and Prosecutor. Fortunately, defendants and their lawyers receive copies of the initial PSR and can challenge objections to any part of the PSR that they feel is not accurate or misstated.
We also perform PSI reviews to determine if there are any items in a PSI which will adversly affect when defendant reports to their designated federal prison. Improperly listed criminal history listed in an inmate’s PSR, can cause the BOP to place Management Variables (MGTVs) and Public Safety Factors (PSFs) on an inmate and can seriously affect the following:
• The inmate being ineligible for RDAP or the Second Chance Act early release.
• The inmate being misclassified and serving time in a higher-security prison than necessary.
• The inmate serving a sentence under harsher conditions than should have been the case.
• The inmate having reduced telephone and visiting privileges.
• The inmate’s ability to self-surrender.
• The inmate’s ability to participate in work assignments
• Community custody placement.
We urge defendants going through the trial process to understand the relevance of having an accurate of Pre-Sentence Report and how it can seriously affect their future. Those seeking personalized assistance should contact RDAP Consultants immediately so we can assist them in dealing with Pre Trial Services and prepping for their Pre-Sentence Interview!