Chapter 19 - General Sentencing Provisions

Chapter 19 - General Sentencing Provisions

46.1901 Authorized dispositions.


(a) Every person found guilty of an offense, whether defined in this title or in the American Samoa Code Annotated in accordance with the classifications in this chapter, shall be dealt with by the court in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, except that for offenses defined outside this title and not in accordance with the classifications of this chapter and not repealed, the term of imprisonment or the fine that may be imposed is that provided in the statute defining the offense.

46.1902 Felony or misdemeanor-Combination of dispositions.


Whenever any person has been found guilty of a felony or a misdemeanor, the court shall make 1 or more of the following dispositions of the offender in any appropriate combination. The court may:

(1) sentence the person to a term of imprisonment as authorized by 46.2301 et seq.;

(2) sentence the person to pay a fine as authorized by 46.2101 et seq.;

(3) suspend the imposition of sentence, with or without placing the person on probation;

(4) pronounce sentence and suspend its execution, placing the person on probation;

(5) impose a period of detention as a condition of probation, as authorized by 46.2206;

(6) require the person to do ordinary labor.

The sentence shall be carried out under the direction of the pulenu’u of the person’s village, the Attorney General, or the county chief of the person’s county as the court may direct.

46.1903 Infraction-Combination of dispositions.


Whenever any person has been found guilty of an infraction, the court shall make 1 or the following dispositions of the offender in any appropriate combination. This court may:

(1) sentence the person to pay a fine as authorized by 46.2 101 et seq.;

(2) suspend the imposition of sentence, with or without placing the person on probation;

(3) pronounce sentence and suspend its execution, placing the person on probation;

(4) require the person to do ordinary labor in the county of the person’s residence as pro-vided in subsection (6) of 46.1902.

46.1904 Offense by organization-Combination of dispositions.


Whenever any organization has been found guilty of an offense, the court shall make 1 or more of the following dispositions of the organization in any appropriate combination. The court may:

(1) sentence the organization to pay a fine as authorized by 46.2101 et seq.;

(2) suspend the imposition of sentence, with or without placing the organization on probation;

(3) pronounce sentence and suspend its execution, placing the organization on probation;

(4) impose any special sentence or sanction authorized by law including, but not limited to, requiring the officers or directors of the organization to do ordinary labor, as provided in subsection (6) of 46.1902.

46.1905 Interpretation of chapter.


This chapter is not to be construed to deprive the court of any authority conferred by law to decree a forfeiture of property, suspend or cancel a license, remove a person from office, or impose any other civil penalty. An appropriate order exercising that authority may be included as part of any sentence.

46.1906 Classification of offenses.


(a) Felonies are classified for the purpose of sentencing into the following 4 categories:

(1) class A felonies;

(2) class B felonies;

(3) class C felonies;

(4) class D felonies.

(b) Misdemeanors are classified for the purpose of sentencing into the following 3 categories:

(1) class A misdemeanors;

(2) class B misdemeanors;

(3) class C misdemeanors.

(c) Infractions are not further classified.

46.1907 Classification of offenses outside this title.


(a) Any offense defined outside this title which is declared to be a misdemeanor without specification its penalty is a class A misdemeanor.

(b) Any offense defined outside this title which is declared to be a felony without specification its penalty is a class D felony.

(c) For the purpose of applying the extended term provisions of 46.2305, and for determining the penalty for attempts and conspiracies, offenses defined outside of this title are classified as follows.

(1) If the offense is a felony:

(A) it is a class A felony if the authorized penalty includes death, life imprisonment, or imprisonment for a minimum term of 10 years or more;

(B) it is a class B felony if the term of imprisonment authorized exceeds 5 years but is less than 15 years;

(C) it is a class C felony if the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is 7 years;

(D) it is a class D felony if the maximum term if imprisonment is less than 5 years;

(2) If the offense is a misdemeanor:

(A) it is a class A misdemeanor if the authorized imprisonment exceeds 6 months in jail;

(B) it is a class B misdemeanor if the authorized imprisonment exceeds 15 days but is not more than 6 months;

(C) it is a class C misdemeanor if the authorized imprisonment is 15 days or less;

(D) it is an infraction if there is no authorized imprisonment.

46.1908 Presentence investigation and report.


(a) A probation officer shall, unless waived by the defendant, make a presentence investi-gation in all felony cases and report to the court before any authorized disposition under 46.1901 through 46.1905. In all other cases before the court, the probation officer shall, if directed by the court, make a presentence investigation and report to the court before any authorized disposition under 46.1901 through 46.1905. The report shall not be submitted to the court or its contents disclosed to anyone until the defendant has pleaded guilty or been found guilty.

(b) The presentence investigation report shall be prepared, presented, and utilized as may be provided by rule of court except that no court shall prevent the defendant or the attorney for the defendant from having access to the complete presentence investigation report and recommendations before any authorized disposition under 46.1901 through 46.1905.

(c) The defendant is not obligated to make any statement to a probation officer in connection with any presentence investigation.

46.1909 Presentence commitment for study.


(a) In felony cases where the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime or other circumstances brought to the attention of the court indicate a strong likelihood that the defendant is suffering from a mental disease or disorder, and the court desires more detailed information about the defendant’s mental condition before making an authorized disposition under 46.1901 through 46.1905, it may order the commitment of the defendant for mental examination.

(b) The court may commit the defendant to the Department of Health and order the defendant examined by a person or persons as the court or that department may designate. The cost of guarding and transporting any confined defendant to and from any place of examination shall be borne by the territory. Any commitment shall be for a period not exceeding 120 days.

(c) Within 40 days after the examination the person or persons making the examination or examinations shall transmit to the court a report of it including answers to any specific questions submitted by the court. The Clerk of the Court shall immediately supply copies of the report to the prosecuting attorney and to the defendant or his attorney.

(d) Any period of commitment to a facility of the Department of Health for the purpose of this section shall be credited against any term of imprisonment imposed upon the defendant.

46.1910 Role of court in sentencing-Effect of Ifoga ceremony.


(a) Upon a finding of guilt upon verdict or plea, except as provided in 46.3513, the court shall decide the extent or duration of sentence or other disposition to be imposed under all the circumstances, having regard to the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and character of the defendant, and render judgment accordingly.

(b) In deciding the extent or duration of sentence or other disposition to be imposed, the court may, in addition to the factors included in subsection (a), reduce the extent or duration of the sentence or other disposition if the court finds that an ifoga ceremony has been performed.

(1) “Ifoga” means the Samoan custom of public apology.

(2) In deciding the extent or duration of sentence or other disposition to be imposed when an ifoga ceremony has been performed, the court may reduce the level of the crime by a maximum of 1 classification from the classification upon which judgment of guilt has been entered following a plea of guilty or trial.