Much like anything in life, criminal cases come with a process. From beginning to end there is a way things are to be handled so that they go as smoothly as possible. Being on the wrong side of the law is not fun, which is why it is best to understand the legal process because it may take longer than you would like. Ultimately, for anyone facing criminal charges, jail or prison may not be the place you want this to conclude at. Criminal processes and laws vary from state to state, but generally have the same pre-sentencing process called the “pre-sentencing interview.” This part of the criminal process allows a defendant to prove to the judge, jury, or prosecution what they truly deserve based on the better versions of them.
After your criminal defense attorney does their best to defend you and the prosecution does their best to charge you, you have a chance to prove to the judge that you deserve a lighter sentence than they may be considering. This presentence interview can be the small difference between you going to prison, jail, having probation, fines, or simply community service. This is very important to your criminal case. Consider your presentence interview a character-building project.
Probation officers will conduct the interview and will review your file as well as other pieces of evidence that may plead your case, such as:
- Your full criminal record. This is very vital information because if you have never committed a criminal offense before or are not a repeat offender, the officer may see that you are more deserving of a lighter sentence.
- Your employment history. This will show whether or not you are a stable person who is capable of making an honest living.
- Your education history. Whether or not you are educated will not make or break your case, but having an education shows that you are somewhat in your right mind and capable of making sound decisions.
- Any character witness letters. The judge, jury, and even probation officer have no idea who you are, so this is a way for them to get to know who you are outside of this legal jam.
Presentence hearings are not to be taken lightly, so speak with a criminal lawyer, like a Decatur criminal lawyer, in your area as soon as possible to prepare for your presentence hearing. Should you have any legal trouble, a criminal defense attorney can assist you in your run in with the law.
Thanks to The Lynch Law Group for their insight into what a criminal case will look like in court.