Preparing For Your Pre-sentence Interview

Clients come to us in various stages of the federal court process. If you have already completed your Pre-sentence Interview (PSI), but want to find out if we can assist you with sentence reduction strategies, contact Dan here to schedule a free consultation.

For those who may be considering working with a federal prison consultant, and have not yet completed the PSI, the rest of this post is especially for you…

Your Pre-sentence Interview is one of the most important interviews you will ever attend. So it makes sense to be as prepared for your PSI as possible. Your PSI is meant to give the Court a better picture of who you are, from financials to substance abuse and beyond. You might feel like you’re under a microscope during your PSI; remember though, that this is your chance to give information that can help shape the outcome of your sentencing. Be honest, open and respectful. Your PSI is an opportunity to gain some control over the outcome of your federal case.

Pre-sentence Interview (PSI) Overview

Your PSI is typically conducted with a Federal Probation Officer, your attorney and you. Your answers to the Federal Probation Officer’s questions determine what he or she enters in your Pre-Sentence Report (PSR). The PSR goes to the judge in your case, and can have a heavy influence on how much time, if any, you serve in federal prison. Your PSI may take less than an hour, or could last for hours. It depends largely on how much information there is to cover.

Have Your Personal Narrative Ready For Your PSI

We advise our clients to have their Personal Narrative completed at the time of their PSI. Ideally, your Character Reference Letters would be completed at the time of your PSI, as well. These letters should focus on quality over quantity, and there are specific points to avoid when writing your letters. Our Success Method™ guides clients to prepare 3 Character Reference Letters and 1 Personal Narrative. Your letters can make a huge difference in what the Federal Probation Officer includes in his or her report, so do not overlook the significance of your Personal Narrative and Character Reference Letters. 

Substance Abuse And Your Pre-sentence Interview

In addition to showing up with outstanding letters, you can also help yourself by being 100% honest about any substance abuse issues you may have. Your knee-jerk reaction might be to hide a substance abuse issue, but that can actually make you serve more time in the long run. Do not hide drug or alcohol abuse, and do not make up substance abuse if there is none. The Federal Probation Officer interviewing you for the PSI needs to know the true details of any applicable substance abuse, so make sure you tell them the whole story, without downplaying it or embellishing it. 

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