Understanding Colorado Presentence Confinement In Concurrent Felony – Misdemeanor Sentencing – § 18-1.3-405

Understanding Colorado Presentence Confinement In Concurrent Felony – Misdemeanor Sentencing – § 18-1.3-405

By H. Michael Steinberg – Colorado Domestic Violence Sentencing Criminal Defense Lawyer-you can email the author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com.

Understanding Colorado Presentence Confinement In Concurrent Felony - Misdemeanor Sentencing - § 18-1Understanding Colorado Presentence Confinement In Concurrent Felony – Misdemeanor Sentencing – § 18-1.3-405 – Maintaining yourself when in custody is hard enough – getting the credit for the time you were forced to do is essential.

In Colorado – pre-sentence confinement credit or PSCC – is governed by both statute and case law.

The idea behind – and the goal of – the PSCC statute is ‘to insure that defendants receive full, but not receive duplicative, credit for the period of pre-sentence confinement attributable to the charge or conduct for which that person has been sentenced

The Relevant Part Of Colorado’s Pre-sentence Confinement Credit Law – §18-1.3-405

The PSCC statute states:

§ 18-1.3-405. Credit for Pre-sentence Confinement

A person who is confined for an offense prior to the imposition of sentence for said offense is entitled to credit against the term of his or her sentence for the entire period of such confinement.

At the time of sentencing, the court shall make a finding of the amount ofPre-sentence confinement to which the offender is entitled and shall include such finding in the mittimus.

[HMS – The next sections address parole violations and Pre-sentence credit.]

The period of confinement shall be deducted from the sentence by the department of corrections. A person who is confined pending a parole revocation hearing is entitled to credit for the entire period of such confinement against any period of reincarceration imposed in the parole revocation proceeding.

The period of confinement shall be deducted from the period of reincarceration by the department of corrections. If a defendant is serving a sentence or is on parole for a previous offense when he or she commits a new offense and he or she continues to serve the sentence for the previous offense while charges on the new offense are pending, the credit given for Pre-sentence confinement under this section shall be granted against the sentence the defendant is currently serving for the previous offense and shall not be granted against the sentence for the new offense.

 Parole Violations And Pre-Sentence Confinement Credit – Concurrent Vs Consecutive Sentences

If a Defendant is sentenced to concurrent prison sentences in the same judicial district, pre-sentence confinement credit must be applied to each sentence If the underlying charge “was an actual cause of the defendant’sPre-sentence confinement.” This makes certain that a defendant “will receive credit for the full period ofPre-sentence confinement against the total term of his or her imprisonment, while at the same time avoiding duplicative sentencing credit, as would occur with consecutive sentences.”

As regards parole violations and PSCC there are two components to the statute.

The first component gives the district court the authority to determine whether, and how much, PSCC a defendant should receive,

The second component gives the DOC authority to decide exactly how such pre-sentence credits are applied.

One a judge determines the amount and nature of the pre-sentence credit – that number of days is entered on the record of the Court’s order – this is known as a “mittimus.”

The Colorado Department of Corrections has the responsibility to allocate the credits appropriately.

The issues of unlawful application of duplicative credits is not where a sentence for a new offense is imposed concurrently with, and not consecutively to, a parole sentence.

Probation Violations Based On New Criminal Charges And Pre-Sentence Credit

Here is a typical fact pattern

– Where a Defendant is granted probation on misdemeanor charges and then picks up new charges while on probation and is then held in custody on both the new offense and the probation revocation warrant, a judge cannot refuse to award PSCC toward the misdemeanor sentences for the time he is held on both the new offense and the probation revocation warrant.

A defendant is entitled to the time he is held on both a probation revocation warrant and the new charges that are the basis of his or her probation violation.

The pre-sentence credit law does not require that the offense for which a sentence is imposed be the SINGLE and EXCLUSIVE cause of a defendant’s confinement in jail. The idea behind the law is to avoid duplicative credit. For example – in the context of parole violations – If a defendant is sentenced to concurrent prison sentences and those sentences are imposed in the same judicial district, then PSCC must be applied to each sentence for which the underlying charge was an actual cause of the defendant’sPre-sentence confinement.”

An “Actual Cause” Of Confinement – The Entitlement To Pre-Sentence Confinement Credit

To determine whether a defendant is entitled to credit for a particular period ofPre-sentence confinement, a judge must decide whether a charge or conduct for which the defendant is to be sentenced is an actual cause of the defendant’s confinement.

The easy case:

…is when a defendant’s confinement from the date of his arrest – to the date of his sentencing is actually caused by the charges filed in a case. A judge has no discretion or authority to deny PSCC to which a defendant is entitled.

BUT IF a defendant is confined in a jail or otherwise incarcerated prior to sentencing for a different transaction from that for which he is about to be sentenced, THE he is not entitled to credit. A Defendant is not entitled toPre-sentence confinement credit for time that defendant is in custody in a jurisdiction other than if there is a separate and independent criminal proceeding that was causing defendant’s confinement in that other jurisdiction.

The Requirement Of The Substantial Nexus

The law requires that there must be a substantial nexus between the charge or conduct and the period of confinement for which credit is sought. That “Substantial nexus” between the charges filed in one judicial district and periods of pre-sentence confinement in another jurisdiction before a defendant is entitled to an award of pre-sentence confinement credit against defendant’s sentence in the first district.

Conclusion – Colorado Presentence Credit Law

The Defendant must ASK the judge for the amount of time to be credited, if the defense lawyer believes the judge is unaware of the length of time the defendant was in custody or the judge is not considering pre-sentence confinement in arriving at a sentence.

Understanding Colorado Presentence Confinement In Concurrent Felony – Misdemeanor Sentencing – § 18-1.3-405

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg –Email The Author– A Denver Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about the topic – Understanding Colorado Presentence Confinement In Concurrent Felony – Misdemeanor Sentencing – § 18-1.3-405, please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

Denver Colorado Domestic Violence AttorneyH. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience – specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range. He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options. Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case. Call now for an immediate free phone consultation.


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