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Can your court appointed attorney refuse to give you a copy of a PSI report that's for your court case?

Decorah, IA |

ive asked my court appointed attorney for a copy of the entire contents of my case folder except for the emails between him and me. he sent me a email back saying that he can not include a copy of a pre-sentence investigation report that was done by the department of corrections for my case so that i could get a deferred judgement as a option. So my question is can my court appointment attorney legally prevent me from getting a copy of that PSI report where its part of my case folder??

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Attorney answers 1


Here is the statute that your attorney is required to follow:

901.4 Presentence investigation report confidential -- access.

The presentence investigation report is confidential and the court shall provide safeguards to ensure its confidentiality, including but not limited to sealing the report, which may be opened only by further court order. The defendant's attorney and the attorney for the state shall have access to the presentence investigation report at least three days prior to the date set for sentencing. The defendant's appellate attorney and the appellate attorney for the state shall have access to the presentence investigation report upon request and without the necessity of a court order. The report shall remain confidential except upon court order. However, the court may conceal the identity of the person who provided confidential information. The report of a medical examination or psychological or psychiatric evaluation shall be made available to the attorney for the state and to the defendant upon request. The reports are part of the record but shall be sealed and opened only on order of the court. If the defendant is committed to the custody of the Iowa department of corrections and is not a class "A" felon, the department and the board of parole shall have access to the presentence investigation report. Pursuant to section 904.602, the presentence investigation report may also be released by ordinary or electronic mail by the department of corrections or a judicial district department of correctional services to another jurisdiction for the purpose of providing interstate probation and parole compact or interstate compact for adult offender supervision services or evaluations, or to a substance abuse or mental health services provider when referring a defendant for services. The defendant or the defendant's attorney may file with the presentence investigation report, a denial or refutation of the allegations, or both, contained in the report. The denial or refutation shall be included in the report.

You are entitled to review the report with you attorney prior to sentencing. If there is reason for you to need an actual copy of the report, you should hire a lawyer to file a motion seeking access to the report. The court has authority to order that you be provided a copy, though there is no guaranty the court would do so. If you can articulate why you need a copy and what you would do to safeguard the report, the court would be more likely to grant this request. George B. Jones, Iowa Criminal Defense Lawyer