A Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) is an investigation of the defendant that is conducted prior to the defendant being sentenced. It assists the judge in determining the appropriate sentence. The statute that governs a PSI is 22 O.S. § 982. It is mandatory upon conviction of a violent non-capital felony. It occurs after the conviction of any felony by plea or trial. The defendant may waive their right to a PSI. If the offense is violent, as per the PSI statute, the PSI must be conducted by the Department of Corrections. If the defendant has a prior felony conviction and is convicted of a nonviolent offense, as per the PSI statute, the PSI must be conducted by either a private provider or someone designated by the court. The entity administering the PSI may charge up to $500. There are a variety of things that the Department of Corrections considers when conducting 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
- Marital status,
- Living arrangements,
- Financial obligations,
- 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 must have a PSI made by the Department on each person charged with a violent felony offense and entering a plea of guilty or a plea of no contest as part of or in exchange for a plea agreement for a 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.
A “violent offense” for purposes of a PSI is any of the following:
- Arson in the first degree;
- Assault with a dangerous weapon;
- Battery with a dangerous weapon;
- Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon;
- Aggravated assault and battery on a police officer, sheriff, highway patrol officer, or any other officer of the law;
- Assault with intent to kill;
- Shooting with intent to kill;
- Assault with intent to commit a felony;
- Use of a firearm to commit a felony;
- Assault while masked or disguised;
- Burglary in the first degree;
- Burglary with explosives;
- Child beating or maiming;
- Forcible sodomy;
- Kidnapping for extortion;
- Lewd or indecent proposition;
- Lewd or indecent acts with a child;
- Manslaughter in the first or second degrees;
- Murder in the first or second degrees;
- Rape in the first or second degrees;
- Rape by instrumentation;
- Robbery in the first or second degrees;
- Robbery by two or more persons;
- Robbery with a dangerous weapon; or
- Any attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit any of the above enumerated offenses.
Source: 22 O.S. § 982
For more information on a Pre-Sentence Investigation In Oklahoma, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Call (405) 633-3420 to speak with an attorney.