If an individual has been accused of a criminal offence, severe misdemeanour or felony, the judge of the court will request for a pre-sentence report. This report is required to get an unbiased picture of the accused before he is acquitted in court. The probation officers are responsible for preparing the pre-sentence report as it helps the judge make the right sentencing decisions. Knowing what a pre-sentence report is is especially important if any individual has been accused of any crime so that the report can help determine the accused’s true character.
Pre-sentence report- its importance in criminal case
A pre-sentence report is prepared to provide a clear picture of the accused apart from his/her offence or crime. This report is made in an impartial manner and it does not have any association with the police or any other authorities. The right sentencing decision is made based on the report and the accused is interviewed before preparing the report that will be presented to the judge. Even the accused’s criminal records are checked before the pre-sentence report is made and the probation officer also interviews the family and friends of the accused along with the victims and arresting officer. The right information is gathered from agencies like corrections and police to decide whether the accused will be sentenced on the same day as he/she is convicted.
Pre-sentence report- Get a clear picture of the accused
Pre sentence investigation is carried on after the accused has been found guilty or if he pleads guilty and request for probation. The main objective of this report is to check the background of the accused person and the judge will determine whether the person has a good character or bad character. Apart from the accused’s criminal records, the probation officer also inquires about the family history, employment record, educational qualifications and addiction of the accused. This plays a crucial role in deciding on the severity of the sentence because the person’s good conduct can reduce his/her imprisonment time if the submitted report is in favor of the accused person. The pre-sentence report also includes information about the drug and alcohol use by the accused, especially if he/she has been charged with driving after drinking or substance abuse.
Pre sentence report is the best way of deciding whether the person is an ideal candidate for probation, and it also helps the judge to make the decision on the basis of the report. The most appropriate sentence is awarded to the accused after the judge goes through the report that contains the accused’s personal, historical and contextual information. The pre sentence report is considered as the most crucial document in the criminal process which can be highly relevant to decision-making after conviction. Several weeks are given to the probation officers to prepare this report, which spans between the date of sentencing and conviction.
A practical and appropriate sentence is imposed only after a thorough reading of this report and this impartial report will ensure that the accused does not become a threat to society and the public. Hence, you need to seek professional help for dealing with criminal case hearings so that the judgment is made in your favour.