How Jail Time Credit Applies to Concurrent or Consecutive Sentences

General Criminal Defense

3/26/2010
Kelly L. Rooth, Shareholder
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How Jail Time Credit Applies to Concurrent or Consecutive Sentences

A commonly confusing aspect of sentencing that arises in a criminal case is the difference between concurrent and consecutive sentences and how credit for time served applies to these sentences.  Generally, concurrent sentences run at the same time, while consecutive sentences run back to back.  “Time served” is jail time credit the defendant receives from the period he was in jail waiting for resolution of his criminal case.  The time served period is subtracted from the total sentence the defendant ultimately receives.

In a recent Second District Court of Appeal case, Eddie Lee Steadman v. State, the 2nd DCA considered how jail time credit should apply to sentencing.  This case involved defendant Steadman, who was convicted for a variety of crimes, including burglary of a conveyance, grand theft, aggravated assault, fleeing or eluding, driving with a suspended license, and giving false information to law enforcement.  Most counts were given concurrent sentences, while others received a consecutive sentence.  The trial court gave Steadman jail time credit on the concurrent counts but not the consecutive counts.

Steadman challenged his sentence on the grounds that the trial court should have credited him for time served in jail while he was waiting to be sentenced on the consecutive counts.  The 2nd DCA held that Steadman properly received jail time credit on all of his concurrent sentences and did not get credit on the consecutive sentences.  The court cited Florida law stating that a defendant’s time in jail prior to sentencing is different from time served as part of the defendant’s sentence.  The general rule is that when convicted of multiple offenses, a defendant is only allowed to receive presentence jail credit on the first of his or her consecutive sentences only, not all of them.  Therefore, the trial court properly calculated Steadman’s jail time credit.

If you have any questions about whether your sentence was properly calculated, or any other questions about legal representation for your criminal charge, do not hesitate to contact St. Petersburg criminal defense attorneys at Rooth Law Group for a free consultation today.

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