Pre-Sentence Investigation Report

When a federal defendant is found guilty at trial, or pleads guilty prior to trial, a pre-sentence investigation report (commonly referred to as a PSI or PSR) will be ordered by the district court. This procedure lasts approximately seventy-five (75) days and is completed by the United States Probation Office. Early in this time period, typically within the first two weeks, a probation officer will interview a federal defendant and his family and/or friends. This aids the probation officer in compiling a report containing a sentencing analysis and a personal history compilation of the federal defendant. The district court judge relies on this document to aid in determining punishment at sentencing. The defense attorney and the government are allowed to object to anything contained within the PSI, be it legal or factual. It is the duty of the probation officer to resolve any objections prior to sentencing. Any unresolved objections are ruled upon at a federal defendant's sentencing hearing by the district court judge assigned to his or her case.