2008 FEDERAL SENTENCING GUIDELINES MANUAL


CHAPTER 5 - PART G - IMPLEMENTING THE TOTAL SENTENCE OF IMPRISONMENT

§5G1.3. Imposition of a Sentence on a Defendant Subject to an Undischarged Term of Imprisonment

(a) If the instant offense was committed while the defendant was serving a term of imprisonment (including work release, furlough, or escape status) or after sentencing for, but before commencing service of, such term of imprisonment, the sentence for the instant offense shall be imposed to run consecutively to the undischarged term of imprisonment.

(b) If subsection (a) does not apply, and a term of imprisonment resulted from another offense that is relevant conduct to the instant offense of conviction under the provisions of subsections (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3) of §1B1.3 (Relevant Conduct) and that was the basis for an increase in the offense level for the instant offense under Chapter Two (Offense Conduct) or Chapter Three (Adjustments), the sentence for the instant offense shall be imposed as follows:

(1) the court shall adjust the sentence for any period of imprisonment already served on the undischarged term of imprisonment if the court determines that such period of imprisonment will not be credited to the federal sentence by the Bureau of Prisons; and

(2) the sentence for the instant offense shall be imposed to run concurrently to the remainder of the undischarged term of imprisonment.

(c) (Policy Statement) In any other case involving an undischarged term of imprisonment, the sentence for the instant offense may be imposed to run concurrently, partially concurrently, or consecutively to the prior undischarged term of imprisonment to achieve a reasonable punishment for the instant offense.

Commentary

Application Notes:

1. Consecutive Sentence - Subsection (a) Cases. Under subsection (a), the court shall impose a consecutive sentence when the instant offense was committed while the defendant was serving an undischarged term of imprisonment or after sentencing for, but before commencing service of, such term of imprisonment.

2. Application of Subsection (b).–

(A) In General.–Subsection (b) applies in cases in which all of the prior offense (i) is relevant conduct to the instant offense under the provisions of subsection (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3) of §1B1.3 (Relevant Conduct); and (ii) has resulted in an increase in the Chapter Two or Three offense level for the instant offense. Cases in which only part of the prior offense is relevant conduct to the instant offense are covered under subsection (c).

(B) Inapplicability of Subsection (b).–Subsection (b) does not apply in cases in which the prior offense increased the Chapter Two or Three offense level for the instant offense but was not relevant conduct to the instant offense under §1B1.3(a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3) (e.g., the prior offense is an aggravated felony for which the defendant received an increase under §2L1.2 (Unlawfully Entering or Remaining in the United States), or the prior offense was a crime of violence for which the defendant received an increased base offense level under §2K2.1 (Unlawful Receipt, Possession, or Transportation of Firearms or Ammunition; Prohibited Transactions Involving Firearms or Ammunition)).

(C) Imposition of Sentence.–If subsection (b) applies, and the court adjusts the sentence for a period of time already served, the court should note on the Judgement in a Criminal Case Order (i) the applicable subsection (e.g., §5G1.3(b)); (ii) the amount of time by which the sentence is being adjusted; (iii) the undischarged term of imprisonment for which the adjustment is being given; and (iv) that the sentence imposed is a sentence reduction pursuant to §5G1.3(b) for a period of imprisonment that will not be credited by the Bureau of Prisons.

(D) Example.–The following is an example in which subsection (b) applies and an adjustment to the sentence is appropriate:

    The defendant is convicted of a federal offense charging the sale of 40 grams of cocaine. Under §1B1.3, the defendant is held accountable for the sale of an additional 15 grams of cocaine, an offense for which the defendant has been convicted and sentenced in state court. The defendant received a nine-month sentence of imprisonment for the state offense and has served six months on that sentence at the time of sentencing on the instant federal offense. The guideline range applicable to the defendant is 12-18 months (Chapter Two offense level of level 16 for sale of 55 grams of cocaine; 3 level reduction for acceptance of responsibility; final offense level of level 13; Criminal History Category I). The court determines that a sentence of 13 months provides the appropriate total punishment. Because the defendant has already served six months on the related state charge as of the date of sentencing on the instant federal offense, a sentence of seven months, imposed to run concurrently with the three months remaining on the defendant’s state sentence, achieves this result.

3. Application of Subsection (c).–

(A) In General.–Under subsection (c), the court may impose a sentence concurrently, partially concurrently, or consecutively to the undischarged term of imprisonment. In order to achieve a reasonable incremental punishment for the instant offense and avoid unwarranted disparity, the court should consider the following:

(i) the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3584 (referencing 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a));

(ii) the type (e.g., determinate, indeterminate/parolable) and length of the prior undischarged sentence;

(iii) the time served on the undischarged sentence and the time likely to be served before release;

(iv) the fact that the prior undischarged sentence may have been imposed in state court rather than federal court, or at a different time before the same or different federal court; and

(v) any other circumstance relevant to the determination of an appropriate sentence for the instant offense.

(B) Partially Concurrent Sentence.–In some cases under subsection (c), a partially concurrent sentence may achieve most appropriately the desired result. To impose a partially concurrent sentence, the court may provide in the Judgment in a Criminal Case Order that the sentence for the instant offense shall commence on the earlier of (i) when the defendant is released from the prior undischarged sentence; or (ii) on a specified date. This order provides for a fully consecutive sentence if the defendant is released on the undischarged term of imprisonment on or before the date specified in the order, and a partially concurrent sentence if the defendant is not released on the undischarged term of imprisonment by that date.

(C) Undischarged Terms of Imprisonment Resulting from Revocations of Probation, Parole or Supervised Release.–Subsection (c) applies in cases in which the defendant was on federal or state probation, parole, or supervised release at the time of the instant offense and has had such probation, parole, or supervised release revoked. Consistent with the policy set forth in Application Note 4 and subsection (f) of §7B1.3 (Revocation of Probation or Supervised Release), the Commission recommends that the sentence for the instant offense be imposed consecutively to the sentence imposed for the revocation.

(D) Complex Situations.–Occasionally, the court may be faced with a complex case in which a defendant may be subject to multiple undischarged terms of imprisonment that seemingly call for the application of different rules. In such a case, the court may exercise its discretion in accordance with subsection (c) to fashion a sentence of appropriate length and structure it to run in any appropriate manner to achieve a reasonable punishment for the instant offense.

(E) Downward Departure.–Unlike subsection (b), subsection (c) does not authorize an adjustment of the sentence for the instant offense for a period of imprisonment already served on the undischarged term of imprisonment. However, in an extraordinary case involving an undischarged term of imprisonment under subsection (c), it may be appropriate for the court to downwardly depart. This may occur, for example, in a case in which the defendant has served a very substantial period of imprisonment on an undischarged term of imprisonment that resulted from conduct only partially within the relevant conduct for the instant offense. In such a case, a downward departure may be warranted to ensure that the combined punishment is not increased unduly by the fortuity and timing of separate prosecutions and sentencings. Nevertheless, it is intended that a departure pursuant to this application note result in a sentence that ensures a reasonable incremental punishment for the instant offense of conviction. To avoid confusion with the Bureau of Prisons’ exclusive authority provided under 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b) to grant credit for time served under certain circumstances, the Commission recommends that any downward departure under this application note be clearly stated on the Judgment in a Criminal Case Order as a downward departure pursuant to §5G1.3(c), rather than as a credit for time served.

4. Downward Departure Provision.–In the case of a discharged term of imprisonment, a downward departure is not prohibited if the defendant (A) has completed serving a term of imprisonment; and (B) subsection (b) would have provided an adjustment had that completed term of imprisonment been undischarged at the time of sentencing for the instant offense. See §5K2.23 (Discharged Terms of Imprisonment).

Background: In a case in which a defendant is subject to an undischarged sentence of imprisonment, the court generally has authority to impose an imprisonment sentence on the current offense to run concurrently with or consecutively to the prior undischarged term. 18 U.S.C. § 3584(a). Exercise of that authority, however, is predicated on the court’s consideration of the factors listed in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), including any applicable guidelines or policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission.

Historical Note: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendment 289); November 1, 1991 (see Appendix C, amendment 385); November 1, 1992 (see Appendix C, amendment 465); November 1, 1993 (see Appendix C, amendment 494); November 1, 1995 (see Appendix C, amendment 535); November 1, 2002 (see Appendix C, amendment 645); November 1, 2003 (see Appendix C, amendment 660).