2005 Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Chapter 2 - PART
J - OFFENSES INVOLVING THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
§2J1.7. Commission of Offense While on Release
If an enhancement under 18 U.S.C. § 3147 applies, add 3 levels
to the offense level for the offense committed while on release as if this
section were a specific offense characteristic contained in the offense guideline
for the offense committed while on release.
Statutory Provision: 18
U.S.C. § 3147.
1. Because 18 U.S.C. § 3147 is an enhancement provision, rather than
an offense, this section provides a specific offense characteristic to increase
the offense level for the offense committed while on release.
2. Under 18 U.S.C. § 3147, a sentence of imprisonment must be imposed
in addition to the sentence for the underlying offense, and the sentence of
imprisonment imposed under 18 U.S.C. § 3147 must run consecutively
to any other sentence of imprisonment. Therefore, the court, in order to comply
with the statute, should divide the sentence on the judgment form between the
sentence attributable to the underlying offense and the sentence attributable
to the enhancement. The court will have to ensure that the "total punishment" (i.e.,
the sentence for the offense committed while on release plus the sentence enhancement
under 18 U.S.C. § 3147) is in accord with the guideline range for
the offense committed while on release, as adjusted by the enhancement in this
section. For example, if the applicable adjusted guideline range is 30-37 months
and the court determines "total punishment" of 36 months is appropriate, a
sentence of 30 months for the underlying offense plus 6 months under 18 U.S.C. § 3147
would satisfy this requirement.
Background: An enhancement
under 18 U.S.C. § 3147 may be imposed only after sufficient
notice to the defendant by the government or the court, and applies only in
the case of a conviction for a federal offense that is committed while on release
on another federal charge.
Legislative history indicates that the mandatory nature of the penalties
required by 18 U.S.C. § 3147 was to be eliminated upon the implementation
of the sentencing guidelines. "Section 213(h) [renumbered as §200(g)
in the Crime Control Act of 1984] amends the new provision in title I of this
Act relating to consecutive enhanced penalties for committing an offense on
release (new 18 U.S.C. § 3147) by eliminating the mandatory nature
of the penalties in favor of utilizing sentencing guidelines." (Senate Report
98-225 at 186). Not all of the phraseology relating to the requirement of a
mandatory sentence, however, was actually deleted from the statute. Consequently,
it appears that the court is required to impose a consecutive sentence of imprisonment
under this provision, but there is no requirement as to any minimum term. This
guideline is drafted to enable the court to determine and implement a combined "total
punishment" consistent with the overall structure of the guidelines, while
at the same time complying with the statutory requirement. Guideline provisions
that prohibit the grouping of counts of conviction requiring consecutive sentences
(e.g., the introductory paragraph
§3D1.2; §5G1.2(a)) do not apply to this section because 18 U.S.C. § 3147
is an enhancement, not a count of conviction.
Historical Note: Effective
November 1, 1987. Amended effective January 15, 1988 (see Appendix
C, amendment 32); November 1, 1989 (see Appendix
C, amendment 178); November 1, 1991 (see Appendix
C, amendment 431).