Saturday, January 3, 2009

Errors in Presentence Investigation Reports Need to be Objected to Before the Sentencing Court

Erroneous information in presentence reports can have all sorts of negative consequences to a defendant. Thus, when inaccurate, prejudicial information is in a presentence reports, it is critical that counsel seek to have the report amended. Critically, it is the trial court counsel, who must seek the changes. As the Fourth Department, held in People v Hall, 2008 NY Slip Op 10361 [12/21/08], if such relief is not sought at the lower court, the issue is not preserved for review:
defendant contends that the presentence report should be amended because, according to defendant, it contains inaccurate assertions and unsupported speculation that "are likely to prejudice [defendant] for years to come" (see generally People v Harrington, 3 AD3d 737, 739). Defendant failed to preserve that contention for our review, and we decline to exercise our power to review that contention as a matter of discretion in the interest of justice (see CPL 470.15 [6] [a]).

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