Let’s say you were convicted of a federal crime in New York City, and now the trial has moved to the sentencing phase. One of the first steps in this process will be the compilation of a Pre-Sentencing Report (PSR) by the probation officer.
The PSR is meant to sum up the details relevant to the case, as well as the defendant’s personal, social, and criminal history. The sentence that will be handed down will depend heavily upon the facts set forth in the PSR.
This is why defense attorneys must be vigilant and produce timely objections to any fact in the PSR that is incorrect or presented in a misleading light. This is especially important in regards to any facts that are factors affecting the sentencing.
However, even negative facts that will not affect sentencing can be important later on in the defendant’s life. For example, if a defendant is sentence to prison time, the PSR can influence whether he or she will be eligible for programs, as well as his or her security rating. In particular, allegations in the PSR concerning the defendant’s use of weapons, violence, or substance abuse can seriously affect his or her eligibility for early release. In sum, even facts in the PSR that do not affect sentencing can have a serious impact on a defendant’s future quality of life.
Therefore, the defense attorney has serious strategic decisions to make in terms of whether and when to object to negative facts alleged in the PSR. While the above considerations militate in favor of raising these objections, this would not be a good idea in every case. For example, if an objection will draw further scrutiny to the defendant’s negative conduct, and possibly even uncover additional wrongdoing, it may be wiser not to object to a negative allegation, especially if it will not affect the sentencing.
Each case is unique. If you have been accused of a federal crime in NYC, your first step should be to retain an experience federal defense attorney, who can analyze the facts and law involved in your case and formulate the best strategy for the best possible outcome. Call our experienced New York City federal criminal defense attorneys at (212)577-6677 for an immediate consultation.