Oklahoma Doesn’t Have to Recommend What the PSI Recommends
Video Transcribed: What is a PSI in Oklahoma? I’m an attorney in Oklahoma, James Wirth, we’re covering topics in criminal procedure in the state of Oklahoma and the question before us is what does a PSI? And that’s a pre-sentence investigation report and essentially that is where somebody has either had a non-jury trial where they’ve been found guilty, or they do a blind plea before the judge and there is the need for an investigation, a pre-sentence investigation report compiled by the Department of Corrections, in order to help the judge make a determination on what the sentence should be.
So, if you work out a plea deal between the state of Oklahoma and your defense attorney work out a deal, and you enter that plea to the court, the courts generally going to accept that and go along with the plea recommendations. So a PSI’s generally not applicable there.
But if it’s not one of those two scenarios and you do a blind plea, and that is you plead guilty to the judge without the benefit of a plea agreement, or there is a non-jury trial where the judge has found you guilty, at that point, sentencing has to be determined and the court may want a little bit of help on that and a pre-sentence investigation can be ordered.
For violent offenses or somebody who has prior felony convictions, under those circumstances, it may be a requirement unless everybody waves that pre-sentence investigation report.
But most of the time, the judge wants that anyway, the benefit of that, and that is an order that goes to the Department of Corrections. The Department of Corrections then starts talking to the defendant and collaterals and gets all kinds of information to put in a report.
So, they put in what were the allegations, place your information from the police reports in this case, what is the defendant’s statement about what happened in this case, how much culpability are they taking on that, and they want to talk about what is the prior criminal history and the details on that.
They want to talk about the defendant’s current living situation, their family life. All of that information can factor into the report and then at the end of the PSI, the Department of Corrections will actually make a recommendation on what kind of sentence should be given to this defendant, whether the recommending a deferred, suspended, in time, any of those things will be noted in the report but that’s just a recommendation. The sentencing is going to be a hundred percent up to the judge and the judge can go along with that or completely throw that out and do something different.
Similarly, the state of Oklahoma doesn’t have to recommend what the PSI recommends. The prosecutor, as the state of Oklahoma, can recommend whatever sentence they want, and then it goes on to the judge to make that determination.
Obviously, the defendant’s attorney is going to have recommendations as well and when that PSI report comes out, the defense attorney and the defendant are going to want to review it for inaccuracies very quickly, to see if any changes need to be made before it’s presented for actual hearing on sentencing.
So, that’s a PSI report; a pre-sentence investigation report. If you’ve got any questions about that or criminal procedure in general, or specific to your case, then you’re going to want to talk to an attorney about it confidentially. To get that scheduled, you can go online to makelaweasy.com.