When a criminal defendant is found guilty, a psychological evaluation may be needed as part of the court’s pre-sentence investigation to assist in determining the specific type or length of sentence, or to identify the most suitable facility where the sentence should be served. Appropriate sentencing determinations often hinge on the court’s solid understanding of the psychological functioning of a defendant. When there is compelling evidence of chronic or severe psychological disturbance the court must also identify that individual’s need for mental health treatment. In other instances, a psychological evaluation may be needed to support a request for a reduced sentence, probation or other act of leniency, or to assess the potential for future acts of sexual violence or criminal sexual conduct.
A widely respected forensic psychologist, Dr. Daniel Swerdlow-Freed has over 15 years of experience examining criminal defendants for purposes of sentencing determinations. Following comprehensive interviewing and psychological testing of a defendant, Dr. Swerdlow-Freed issues a report to assist the court in determining a fair, reasonable and legally sound sentence. His reports are objective and unbiased and can be persuasive evidence to supplement a defense counsel request for less severe or alternative sentencing.
Dr. Swerdlow-Freed conducts pre-sentencing evaluations when information is needed about:
- Assessment of future violence potential
- Assessment of future sexual violence or criminal sexual conduct potential
- Assessment of mental retardation or personality disorder
- Factors that may be relevant to mitigation and aggravation
- Legal versus clinical mental disorders
- Motivation to participate in mental health treatment
- Substance abuse assessment