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2015 California Rules of Court

Rule 4.411. Presentence investigations and reports

(a) Eligible defendant

If the defendant is eligible for probation or a term of imprisonment in county jail under section 1170(h), the court must refer the matter to the probation officer for a presentence investigation and report. Waivers of the presentence report should not be accepted except in unusual circumstances.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2015; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(b) Ineligible defendant

Even if the defendant is not eligible for probation or a term of imprisonment in county jail under section 1170(h), the court should refer the matter to the probation officer for a presentence investigation and report.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2015.)

(c) Supplemental reports

The court must order a supplemental probation officer's report in preparation for sentencing proceedings that occur a significant period of time after the original report was prepared.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(d) Purpose of presentence investigation report

Probation officers' reports are used by judges in determining the appropriate term of imprisonment in prison or county jail under section 1170(h) and by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Adult Operations in deciding on the type of facility and program in which to place a defendant. The reports are also used by courts in deciding whether probation is appropriate, whether a period of mandatory supervision should be denied in the interests of justice under section 1170(h)(5)(A), and the appropriate length and conditions of probation and mandatory supervision. Section 1203c requires a probation officer's report on every person sentenced to prison; ordering the report before sentencing in probation-ineligible cases will help ensure a well-prepared report.

(Subd (d) amended effective January 1, 2015; previously amended effective January 1, 2006 and January 1, 2007.)

Rule 4.411 amended effective January 1, 2015; adopted as rule 418 effective July 1, 1977; previously amended and renumbered as rule 411 effective January 1, 1991; previously renumbered effective January 1, 2001; previously amended effective January 1, 2006 and January 1, 2007.

Advisory Committee Comment

Section 1203 requires a presentence report in every felony case in which the defendant is eligible for probation. Subdivision (a) requires a presentence report in every felony case in which the defendant is eligible for a term of imprisonment in county jail under section 1170(h). Because such a probation investigation and report are valuable to the judge and to the jail and prison authorities, waivers of the report and requests for immediate sentencing are discouraged, even when the defendant and counsel have agreed to a prison sentence or a term of imprisonment in county jail under section 1170(h).

Notwithstanding a defendant's statutory ineligibility for probation or term of imprisonment in county jail under section 1170(h), a presentence investigation and report should be ordered to assist the court in deciding the appropriate sentence and to facilitate compliance with section 1203c.

This rule does not prohibit pre-conviction, pre-plea reports as authorized by section 1203.7.

Subdivision (c) is based on case law that generally requires a supplemental report if the defendant is to be resentenced a significant time after the original sentencing, as, for example, after a remand by an appellate court, or after the apprehension of a defendant who failed to appear at sentencing. The rule is not intended to expand on the requirements of those cases.

The rule does not require a new investigation and report if a recent report is available and can be incorporated by reference and there is no indication of changed circumstances. This is particularly true if a report is needed only for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation because the defendant has waived a report and agreed to a prison sentence. If a full report was prepared in another case in the same or another jurisdiction within the preceding six months, during which time the defendant was in custody, and that report is available to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, it is unlikely that a new investigation is needed.

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