2001 Federal Sentencing Guideline Manual


§3D1.1. Procedure for Determining Offense Level on Multiple Counts

(a) When a defendant has been convicted of more than one count, the court shall:

(1) Group the counts resulting in conviction into distinct Groups of Closely Related Counts ("Groups") by applying the rules specified in §3D1.2.

(2) Determine the offense level applicable to each Group by applying the rules specified in §3D1.3.

(3) Determine the combined offense level applicable to all Groups taken together by applying the rules specified in §3D1.4.

(b) Exclude from the application of §§3D1.2-3D1.5 any count for which the statute (1) specifies a term of imprisonment to be imposed; and (2) requires that such term of imprisonment be imposed to run consecutively to any other term of imprisonment. Sentences for such counts are governed by the provisions of §5G1.2(a).

Commentary

Application Note:

1. Subsection (b) applies if a statute (A) specifies a term of imprisonment to be imposed; and (B) requires that such term of imprisonment be imposed to run consecutively to any other term of imprisonment. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (requiring mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment, based on the conduct involved, to run consecutively). The multiple count rules set out under this Part do not apply to a count of conviction covered by subsection (b). However, a count covered by subsection (b) may affect the offense level determination for other counts. For example, a defendant is convicted of one count of bank robbery (18 U.S.C. § 2113), and one count of use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)). The two counts are not grouped together pursuant to this guideline, and, to avoid unwarranted double counting, the offense level for the bank robbery count under §2B3.1 (Robbery) is computed without application of the enhancement for weapon possession or use as otherwise required by subsection (b)(2) of that guideline. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), the mandatory minimum five-year sentence on the weapon-use count runs consecutively to the guideline sentence imposed on the bank robbery count. See §5G1.2(a).

Unless specifically instructed, subsection (b) does not apply when imposing a sentence under a statute that requires the imposition of a consecutive term of imprisonment only if a term of imprisonment is imposed (i.e., the statute does not otherwise require a term of imprisonment to be imposed). See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 3146 (Penalty for failure to appear); 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(4) (regarding penalty for 18 U.S.C. § 922(q) (possession or discharge of a firearm in a school zone)); 18 U.S.C. § 1791(c) (penalty for providing or possessing a controlled substance in prison). Accordingly, the multiple count rules set out under this Part do apply to a count of conviction under this type of statute.

Background: This section outlines the procedure to be used for determining the combined offense level. After any adjustments from Chapter 3, Part E (Acceptance of Responsibility) and Chapter 4, Part B (Career Offenders and Criminal Livelihood) are made, this combined offense level is used to determine the guideline sentence range. Chapter Five (Determining the Sentence) discusses how to determine the sentence from the (combined) offense level; §5G1.2 deals specifically with determining the sentence of imprisonment when convictions on multiple counts are involved. References in Chapter Five (Determining the Sentence) to the "offense level" should be treated as referring to the combined offense level after all subsequent adjustments have been made.

Historical Note: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1990 (see Appendix C, amendment 348); November 1, 1998 (see Appendix C, amendment 579); November 1, 2000 (see Appendix C, amendment 598).