Federal Sentencing Tips


Federal Presentence Investigation Report

The federal presentence investigation report (PSR) is crucial for two purposes: First, it is the document most heavily relied on by the judge in imposing sentence—particularly in those cases where a guilty plea has been entered and the court knows little about the defendant. Had the defendant gone to trial, the court would have more information about the individual—or at least his or her offense conduct. Second, and equally important, it is the document that the Federal Bureau of Prisons relies on in making designations and placements and many other decisions throughout an inmate’s period of incarceration, including, but not limited to, whether to grant early release through halfway house and, if so, for how much time.


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About Alan Ellis
Alan Ellis is a criminal defense lawyer with offices in San Francisco and New York, with 50 years of experience as a practicing lawyer, law professor and federal law clerk. He is a nationally recognized authority in the fields of federal plea bargaining, sentencing, prison matters, appeals, habeas corpus 2255 motions and international criminal law.

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