Current state law says that before a felony offender receives a community control sentence, an investigation report must be filed. Community control is a type of sentence that allows the offender to avoid going to prison while still being under the court's control. Legally, before the court issues this type of sentence, the judge must order a presentence investigation report.
A presentence investigation report gives a detailed profile of the offender in question, including background information, criminal history, and personal history. The Supreme Court ruled that presentence investigations must preclude community control sentences after two decisions from a lower court were contested and submitted to the high court for a ruling.
Both cases came from the Eighth District Court of Appeals, and in both cases, the defendants were sentenced to community control without this investigation report. A Supreme Court justice commented on the ruling, saying that while the law requires this, it is excessive and unwarranted.