Pre sentence reports
Before you are sentenced for an offence, the magistrate may adjourn your matter for a pre-sentence report
A pre sentence report is prepared by an officer of the Probation & Parole service. Matters are normally adjourned for six weeks for a full pre-sentence report or for a few hours for an oral pre sentence report.
The officer from Probation & Parole will interview you and from this interview they will prepare a report that includes your comments about why you committed the offence and your background. The court will also recommend sentencing options to the court. They may find that certain sentencing options are not available. If you do not agree with any matter in the pre sentence report you can apply to the court to cross examine the officer about their comments.
The recommendations made by the officer are not binding on the court and the court can impose any sentence it thinks is appropriate. However, the recommendations usually have some persuasive force.
It is important that you co-operate fully with the officer as the officer will make recommendations as to an appropriate sentence in their report.
The officer is likely to ask you whether you are willing to undertake community service work or participate in an Intensive corrections order. The fact that you are asked these questions does not mean that this is the penalty the court is considering or will impose. Think carefully before declining to participate in community service work or an Intensive corrections order as this may leave the court with no other options other than full time jail.
WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.