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Presentencing Investigation

(File photo. Credit: Thinkstock)

(File photo. Credit: Thinkstock)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - What’s a presentencing investigation?

A Georgia man who was awaiting sentencing on several theft charges – including the theft of a boat – was rearrested when police conducting an investigation found a 24-foot stolen flatbed trailer on his property.

One would think that if you’re going to steal, you should at least take stuff you can, you know, hide, at least while officers are conducting a presentence investigation on you before deciding your jail sentence on other crimes.

Which raises the question: if you have pled guilty to a crime, why is there a delay between the guilty plea and the sentence?

Well it’s NOT to give you time to take more stuff.

After the guilty verdict or plea but before sentencing, officers conduct what’s called a presentencing investigation in which they find out about the character of the defendant – his prior good deeds or bad acts and other information that couldn’t be used to determine guilt or innocence but interestingly can be used in recommending to the judge what an appropriate sentence will be.

A lesson to all defendants is that during the presentencing period, be sure to keep your nose and your backyard clean if you hope to show that you’re worthy of a shorter sentence.

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