Presentence Investigation (PSI) in Oklahoma

A presentence investigation (PSI) is an investigation of the defendant that’s conducted prior to the defendant being sentenced. It assists the judge in determining the appropriate sentence. It’s typically done when the defendant enters a blind plea and is between the time the defendant pleads guilty and is sentenced. It usually takes a couple of months for the PSI to be completed.

Eligibility for a Presentence Investigation

presentence investigation oklahoma psiA defendant is eligible for a PSI when the defendant:

  • Is convicted of a violent felony offense (whether the conviction is for a single offense or part of any combination of offenses), except when the death sentence is available as punishment for the offense
  • Has a prior felony conviction and enters a plea of guilty or nolo contest to a felony offense other than a violent felony offense, without an agreement by the district attorney regarding the sentence to be imposed
  • Has entered a plea of not guilty to a nonviolent felony offense and is found guilty by a court following a non-jury trial

The PSI in each of the above situations must be made by the Department of Corrections. A judge will order that the DoC conduct the PSI. The cost of the PSI will be $500, but the court may reduce the amount of the fee and establish a payment schedule for hardship cases. Any defendant charged with a felony may get a PSI. However, a judge may only order one done in the above situations. If a defendant doesn’t fall into any of the above categories, then the defendant must pay for a PSI to be conducted by a private presentence investigator. DoC won’t conduct a PSI if the defendant doesn’t fall into any of the above categories, and is thus not ordered by a judge to conduct one. The defendant may waive his or her right to a PSI.

What Happens During a PSI

When conducting a PSI, the Department of Corrections inquires into the circumstances of the offense and the characteristics of the offender. The information obtained from the investigation will include, but not be limited to:

  • A voluntary statement from each victim of the offense concerning the nature of the offense and the impact of the offense on the victim and the immediate family of the victim;
  • The amount of the loss suffered or incurred by the victim as a result of the criminal conduct of the offender; and
  • The offender’s
    • Age,
    • Marital status,
    • Living arrangements,
    • Financial obligations,
    • Income,
    • Family history and education,
    • Prior juvenile and criminal records,
    • Associations with other persons convicted of a felony offense,
    • Social history,
    • Indications of a predisposition to violence or substance abuse,
    • Remorse or guilt about the offense or the harm to the victim, and
    • Job skills and employment history.

The report will be provided to the court and include a recommendation detailing the punishment that is deemed appropriate for both the offense and the offender, and specifically a recommendation for or against probation or suspended sentence. If the court or Department of Corrections believes it’s desirable, the investigation will include a physical and/or mental examination of the offender. The prosecutor may have a presentence investigation made by the Department of Corrections on each person charged with a violent felony offense and entering a plea of guilty or no contest as part of or in exchange for a plea agreement for a violent felony offense. The presentence investigation must be completed before the terms of the plea agreement are finalized. The court cannot approve the terms of any plea agreement without reviewing the presentence investigation report to determine whether or not the terms of the sentence are appropriate for both the offender and the offense. The presentence investigation report may not be referred to, or be considered, in any appeal proceedings. Before imposing a sentence, the court must advise the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, and the district attorney of the factual contents and conclusions of the presentence investigation report. The court must afford the offender a fair opportunity to controvert the findings and conclusions of the reports at the time of sentencing. If either the defendant or the district attorney desires, a hearing must be set by the court to allow both parties an opportunity to offer evidence proving or disproving any finding contained in a report, which will be a hearing in mitigation or aggravation of punishment.

Violent Crimes For Purposes of a PSI

A “violent offense” for purposes of a PSI is any of the following:

  1. Arson in the first degree;
  2. Assault with a dangerous weapon;
  3. Battery with a dangerous weapon;
  4. Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon;
  5. Aggravated assault and battery on a police officer, sheriff, highway patrol officer, or any other officer of the law;
  6. Assault with intent to kill;
  7. Shooting with intent to kill;
  8. Assault with intent to commit a felony;
  9. Use of a firearm to commit a felony;
  10. Assault while masked or disguised;
  11. Burglary in the first degree;
  12. Burglary with explosives;
  13. Child beating or maiming;
  14. Forcible sodomy;
  15. Kidnapping;
  16. Kidnapping for extortion;
  17. Lewd or indecent proposition;
  18. Lewd or indecent acts with a child;
  19. Manslaughter in the first or second degrees;
  20. Murder in the first or second degrees;
  21. Rape in the first or second degrees;
  22. Rape by instrumentation;
  23. Robbery in the first or second degrees;
  24. Robbery by two or more people;
  25. Robbery with a dangerous weapon; or
  26. Any attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit any of the above enumerated offenses.

Source: 22 O.S. § 982

Current as of March 22, 2020. Laws are subject to change at any time! Go to the sources cited above for the most up-to-date law.

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