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Delaware Code Title 11. Crimes and Criminal Procedure § 4331. Presentence investigation; victim impact statement

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(a) Upon conviction of any person for any crime and before sentencing, the court may, before fixing punishment or imposing sentence, direct an Investigative Services officer to thoroughly investigate and report upon the history of the accused and any and all other relevant facts, to the end that the court may be fully advised as to the appropriate and just sentence to be imposed; provided, however, that if the court orders such investigation for an offender convicted of murder in the first or second degree, rape in the first, second or third degree, unlawful sexual intercourse in the first or second degree, the manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture a narcotic drug, or trafficking under § 4753A of Title 16 [repealed], with respect to a narcotic drug, the offender shall immediately be remanded to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center during the time such investigation is being conducted. All time spent by the offender in custody prior to completion of the presentence investigation and all other sentencing procedures shall be credited against the amount of time which the offender is sentenced to serve.

(b) Whenever an investigation by the Investigative Services Office is ordered by the court, the Investigative Services Office should inquire promptly into such things as the circumstances of the offense, the motivation of the offender, the criminal record, social history, behavior pattern and present condition of the offender. The presentence investigation should include administration of an objective risk and needs assessment instrument, and should note wherein the judicial alternatives of the court and appropriate conditions of supervision may play a role in the rehabilitation of the offender as a law-abiding citizen. All local and state agencies shall make available to the Investigative Services Office such records as the Investigative Services Office may request. The investigation should include physical and mental examination of the offender, when, in the opinion of the court, it is desirable. As soon as practicable or as ordered by the court, the presentence report shall be forwarded to the sentencing judge of the court in each case.

(c) The Investigative Services Office may conduct any additional investigations or perform any other investigative tasks, with the preparation of appropriate reports, as may be desirable to facilitate the appropriate sentencing of an offender or other court proceedings. In order to facilitate the appropriate sentencing of any offender or for any other court proceedings, the Investigative Services Office may be ordered by the court to administer an objective risk and needs assessment instrument and prepare an appropriate report thereof for the court.

(d) Except for those offenses where no victim can be ascertained, a victim impact statement shall be presented to the court prior to the sentencing of a convicted person, where such person has been convicted of:

(1) A felony;

(2) An offense under subchapter V, Chapter 5 of this title or subpart D, subchapter II, Chapter 5 of this title; or

(3) A misdemeanor which resulted in physical injury or death.

The victim impact statement shall not be required where an immediate sentence is rendered, except in cases of conviction by plea or where the defendant has been convicted under § 4209A of this title [repealed].

(e) A victim impact statement shall:

(1) Identify, to such extent as can be reasonably ascertained, those victims (except persons involved in the commission of the offense) who received physical, psychological or economic injury as a result of the offense;

(2) Describe, to the extent possible, such physical, psychological or economic injury;

(3) Identify any physical injury suffered by the victim, together with a description of the seriousness and permanence of such injury;

(4) Contain a description of any change in the victim's personal welfare or familial relationships which can reasonably be attributed to the offense;

(5) Identify any request for psychological services or counselling services initiated by any person identified under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, if such request or need for such services can reasonably be determined to have resulted from the offense;

(6) Determine any fees or costs for psychological or counselling services; and

(7) Any other information relating to the impact of the offense upon the victim or other person.

(f) If a victim or other person identified in subsection (e) of this section is deceased; is a child; is under a mental, physical or legal disability; or is otherwise unable to provide the information required under this section, such information may be obtained from the personal representative, guardian, committee, family member, treatment professional, child protection agency or such other involved state agency as the presentence officer may deem necessary.

(g) The provisions of this section relating to victim impact statements shall apply only to those victims who have cooperated with the court and with Investigative Services officers. The provisions of this section relating to victim impact statements shall apply to all courts having original jurisdiction to hear, try and finally determine criminal offenses; provided, however, that such provisions shall not apply to Justices of the Peace Courts.

(h) Notwithstanding any statute, rule or regulation to the contrary, upon conviction of any person for any sexual offense, as defined in § 761 of this title, and upon request of either party, the court shall direct that a presentence report be prepared by a presentence officer.

(i) In any case involving a felony conviction for which a presentence investigation is being conducted, the person conducting the investigation shall (1) provide the convicted felon with a copy of § 1448 of this title and (2) attempt to determine if the convicted felon is in possession of any firearms in violation of § 1448 of this title. This attempt shall include reasonable efforts to contact other persons in the convicted felon's household and the victim, and shall also include a check of the Superior Court's list of persons holding concealed weapons permits. If the person conducting the investigation believes that the convicted felon is in possession of any firearms in violation of § 1448 of this title, the Attorney General shall be notified for appropriate enforcement action.

Cite this article: - Delaware Code Title 11. Crimes and Criminal Procedure § 4331. Presentence investigation; victim impact statement - last updated January 01, 2022 |

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