If a defendant is convicted of a criminal offense, the judge will determine the appropriate sentence. The judge generally has some discretion in what specific sentence is ordered. This discretion must be exercised in accordance with the sentencing guidelines enacted by the Kansas Legislature. The guidelines allow the judge to impose a sentence between minimum and maximum penalties.
In a felony case, sentencing will occur following the preparation of a pre-sentence investigation report (PSI). A PSI report is prepared by a court services officer who obtains the victim’s statements and gathers information on the defendant’s criminal history. The victim’s statement is your opportunity to tell the judge the injuries you suffered and the crime’s effect on your life and finances. The victim’s statement must be considered by the court when the defendant is sentenced. As a victim, you have the right to be present at sentencing and address the court if the judge allows.
The judge also has the authority to place the defendant on probation. Probation may include supervision by Community Corrections or Court Services. This procedure permits the court to try to fit the particular punishment to the crime and to the defendant.