Colorado Pre-sentence Confinement Credit – And Colorado Sentencing Law
Colorado Pre-sentence Confinement Credit law was greatly impacted by a newly decided 2013 Colorado case. In a recent case decided by the Colorado Court of Appeals, People v. Carrillo, the Court clarified a conflict in the statute that mandated the application of pre-sentence credit in misdemeanor cases. The Court interpreted the old laws and made the rule that if a person is held on both a parole violation hold and is in custody on a new misdemeanor or felony offense – the jail credit – also known a s pre-sentence credit – can only be applied to the prison sentence – the Department of Corrections sentence.
By Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney for Sentencing Issues – H. Michael Steinberg
Colorado Law of Presentence Confinement Credit – Impact of The Appeal
Jess Andrew Carrillo argued on appeal that he should have received presentence credit for 274 days in jail be spent after his arrest for misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact. The judge only allowed 19 days with the balance of the time applied to the felony parole violation.
The defendant was on parole for another offense when the police arrested him on suspicion of sexual assault. He was unable to post bond, he remained there pending disposition of the charges.
He pled guilty to the new charge and received a sentence of one year in the county jail.
The Judge sentenced applied section 18-1.3-405 of the Colorado Revised Statutes and gave him only 19 days nineteen days of Pre-Sentence Confinement Credit (PSCC).
The Specific – Verbatim – Colorado Law of Presentence Confinement Credit – Misdmeanors
Section 18-1.3-509, titled “Credit for time served on misdemeanor offenses,” provides..
A person who is confined for a misdemeanor offense prior to the imposition of a sentence for the misdemeanor offense shall be entitled to credit against the term of his or her sentence for the entire period of the confinement.
At the time of sentencing, the court shall make a finding of the amount of presentence confinement to which the offender is entitled and shall include the finding in the mittimus. The period of confinement shall be deducted from the offender’s sentence by the county jail.
Section 18-1.3-405, titled “Credit for presentence confinement,” states…
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 of presentence confinement to which the offender is entitled and shall include such finding in the mittimus.
The period of confinement shall be deducted from the sentence 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 presentence 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.
The Court’s Ruling And Colorado Pre-Sentence Confinement Credit
The court held that:
“by its plain language, section 18-1.3-405 applies to those confined for an “offense” whereas section 18-1.3-509, by its language, applies to those confined for a “misdemeanor offense.” But the common understanding of the term “offense” clearly is not limited to felonies; it also includes misdemeanors.
Furthermore, before the enactment of section 18-1.3-509, courts had discretion under section 18-1.3-405 in determining whether to grant PSCC on misdemeanor offenses. Alhough section 18- 1.3-509 removed this discretion by making PSCC mandatory for misdemeanor sentences, the plain language of section 18-1.3-405 nonetheless does not limit its application only to felony offenses. Moreover, nothing in section 18-1.3-509 indicates that section 18- 1.3-405 cannot be applied to misdemeanors.”
The Court ruled that “section 18-1.3-509 the General Assembly intended that credit for time served on misdemeanor offenses should be treated the same as credit for time served on felony offenses. Therefore, the last sentence of section 18-1.3-405 applies to misdemeanor offenses where the defendant is serving a prior sentence or is on parole at the time of his confinement on the new misdemeanor charge.”
Conclusion: A defendant – arrested on a parole violation in Colorado based on a new felony or misdemeanor offense will have the time served before resolution of that offense – applied to the remaining time on the felony case. At the point that the felony sentence is satisfied – the balance of the credit is then applied to the sentence for the new criminal conviction.
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Colorado Pre-sentence Confinement Credit
H. Michael Steinberg has been a Colorado criminal law specialist attorney for 30 years (as of 2012). For the first 13 years of his career, he was an Arapahoe – Douglas County District Attorney Senior prosecutor. In 1999 he formed his own law firm for the defense of Colorado criminal cases.
In addition to handling tens of thousands of cases in the trial courts of Colorado, he has written hundreds of articles regarding the practice of Colorado criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on the Fox News Channel, CNN and Various National and Local Newspapers and Radio Stations. Please call him at your convenience at 720-220-2277.
If you have questions about Colorado Pre-sentence Confinement Credit in the Denver metropolitan area and throughout Colorado, attorney H. Michael Steinberg will be pleased to answer those questions and to provide quality legal representation to those charged in Colorado with adult and juvenile criminal matters.. as regards Colorado Pre-sentence Confinement Credit.