In a previous post, I wrote about how sentencing is “where it’s at” in federal court. Well, before my clients ever get to the sentencing hearing, I do a lot – I mean A LOT – of work to ensure my client receives the lowest possible sentence.
In Idaho federal court, when my client is found guilty – either because they pled guilty, or following a trial where a jury finds them guilty – the judge orders a “Presentence Investigation Report.” The “PSR” contains information to assist the judge in determining what sentence is “sufficient but not greater than necessary” to achieve the goals of sentencing. An initial PSR is provided to both me and the attorney for the government. Each of us has the ability to make written objections, which the United States Probation Officer considers. Sometimes the Probation Officer agrees with the objection and changes the PSR; sometimes not.
Recently, a Probation Officer agreed with my objection and amended the PSR to reflect a new recommended sentence under the United States Sentencing Guidelines. What’ the big deal, you may ask? My answer: MONTHS of potential incarceration for my client.
I strive to achieve the best possible outcome for my clients. Objecting to the PSR is a critical step in helping me reach this goal for my clients.