One of the first questions that I ask someone when they contact me is where they are in their process.
If they have already accepted a plea, have they had their PSI (Pre-Sentence Interview).
Many tell me that they have had it when in reality, they were just charged and have only had their pre-trial interview with their pretrial officer occurring before the plea. This interview helps the judge determine your bond eligibility and terms of release. This can be very confusing for some, especially when the process first begins.
Once a guilty plea is entered, the clock really begins to tick and the next thing to occur is the PSI. This is by far, the single most important interview in your life. The report that it will generate, the PSR (Pre-Sentence Report) will be the bible for you or your loved one for both their sentencing and beyond. It will help to determine how the government, specifically the judge and the BOP, view you and your charges for sentencing, designation, security level and programs. It will determine what, if any programs you might be eligible to help to secure an earlier release. If the RDAP (Drug and Alcohol Program) is warranted, the rationale must be included in this report. This is the only single program which can reduce a sentence by up to 12 months and is not offered at every facility.
The PSI is the single most important presentation that you will ever give. Your expression of the understanding of your charge, how it affected victims and your level of remorse must all be part of this report.
When I prepare someone for this interview, we spend a few hours both via Zoom and phone, speaking to better prepare for and try to simulate the interview process. I explain to my clients, and in some instances their attorneys, that they only get “one bite at this apple”. There are no “do-overs” for this report and while your attorney can review and make appropriate comments and suggestions, the most germaine points must be covered during the interview.
I will also review the district specific forms you are required to complete prior to the interview to make sure they are complete and contain the appropriate information for the interviewer. I’ve attached an example of the intake forms for your review. I’m also including an example of a completed PSR for your review. While each district might use a different form, this is the general template for your review.
If you haven’t yet had this interview, or simply would like to speak about any part of this journey, please call, text or email me.