When a criminal defendant in Utah enters a plea or is found guilty by a jury on a felony count the judge may require the defendant to undergo a presentence report with Adult Probation & Parole (“AP&P”). A presentence report is prepared for the judge to assist him in determining what the appropriate sentence will be for that specific defendant for the specific convictions.
A presentence report is put together by a probation officer at AP&P. The defendant has to contact AP&P within 48 hours of entering a plea or being found guilty to set up a time to meet with AP&P for an interview. At the interview the AP&P officer will question the defendant about the circumstances surrounding the conviction and review his criminal history, family situation, and employment situation. From this interview the probation officer will put together a report and make recommendations to the judge.
The report contains several sections:
- Summary of recommendations;
- Criminal background summary including the defendant’s adult history and juvenile history;
- Evaluative assessment and problem areas;
- Description of the any plea agreement entered into;
- Factual summary of the offense;
- Any statement made by the defendant to the probation officer;
- Opinion of the probation officer;
- Whether the defendant is currently in custody;
- Whether any co-defendants were involved;
- Whether there are any pending cases;
- Whether the defendant has any known gang affiliations;
- Whether he has ever been on probation or parole;
- Any victim impact statement and information regarding restitution;
- A statement of the defendant’s life history and current living situation;
- Information concerning the defendant’s education, employment, and finances;
- The defendant’s substance abuse history;
- Any information obtained from collateral contacts;
- A report based on Utah’s sentencing matrix showing where the defendant falls under the matrix;
- A report of any aggravating or mitigating factors affecting the defendant’s sentencing recommendation;
- Any special conditions that should apply such as sex offender conditions;
- Other pertinent information not included above.
The defendant will have an opportunity to dispute any incorrect factual issues that are in the report. The judge is not bound to follow the recommendations, but most judges give the report great weight and will typically follow the recommendations.
For more information feel free to contact our criminal defense law firm.