Where a criminal suspect pleads guilty or nolo contendere, or where a criminal suspect has been found guilty, the judge sometimes orders a pre-sentence investigation on the criminal suspect to determine what the most appropriate sentence will be. The person conducting the investigation is generally a probation officer. He or she shall question the criminal defendant, his or her family and friends, other witnesses in the case, and the criminal defense attorney. Once this investigation is complete, the probation officer reports back to the judge. The pre-sentence investigation report includes the cause and effect of the crime, the rap sheet containing the defendant’s prior criminal record, and the rest of the criminal defendant’s background. The probation officer must verify the veracity of all statements made in the report, and the judge hears of any inaccuracies or misrepresentations. The criminal defendant should never discuss the details of the crime, even after conviction, without the express permission of the criminal defense attorney. The investigation generally lasts several weeks, and once it is complete, the judge, the criminal defense attorney, and the defendant receive a copy.
The information on this page does not represent legal advice. Because the law is continually changing, some of the provisions contained herein may be out of date. It is always wise to seek counsel from an experienced Fort Lauderdale Criminal Attorney like Kenneth Hassett.