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Concurrent vs. Consecutive Sentencing

If you are sentenced to more than one charge at a jury/bench trial, Michigan allows for both concurrent sentencing and consecutive sentencing, when appropriate. 

Below are definitions and explanations of both.

 

DEFINITIONS

CONSECUTIVE VS CONCURRENT SENTENCING

  • CONCURRENT SENTENCE –  If the accused is found guilty/pleads to more than one charge, the accused will serve the sentences for each charge “at the same time”. No matter how many different counts the accused is charged with, pleas to and/or convicted of, ultimately the sentence served for all of the charges will be completed at the same time. 
  • CONSECUTIVE SENTENCE –  If the accused is found guilty/pleads of more than one charge, the accused will be required to finish serving the sentence for one charge “before” the accused serves the sentence on any other charge.

In Michigan, concurrent sentencing is the norm, and consecutive sentencing may be imposed only if specifically authorized by statute.

If the accused is convicted/pleads to a Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree charge, the accused may be ordered by the judge to serve consecutive sentences to any term of imprisonment imposed for any other criminal offense ‘arising from the same transaction’

The difference between consecutive and concurrent sentences can be tremendous.  Once the accused is sentenced to consecutive sentencing, the accused will be facing years of their life in prison. 

No one wants to go to prison, let alone for twice/three times the amount of time.  If you find yourself being investigated/charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct and/or more than one charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct,  you need a lawyer who understands the law and knows how to argue against consecutive sentencing.   Blank Law, PC is well versed and up to date on the latest arguments that must be made in order for the accused to avoid spending additional years and years of his/her life in prison.  

The individual facts and/or charges of each case will assist in determining whether or not the accused can/should be sentenced to consecutive sentences.

If there are multiple penetrations to be considered as part of the ‘same transaction’, they must be part of a ‘continuous time sequence’, not merely part of a continuous course of conduct.

Where crimes that arise from the same transaction “grow out of a continuous time sequence” in which “the same individual, at the same time, and in the same transaction, commits two or more distinct crimes”, that person may be eligible for consecutive sentencing. 

 

BLANK LAW, PC EXAMPLE

CONSECUTIVE VS CONCURRENT SENTENCING

The accused and the accuser had engaged in multiple penetrations (ex: oral/vaginal, oral/anal, penis/vagina) over a period of 2 years.  The accuser was 15 years old and a member of the same household as the accused.   The accused was charged with multiple charges of First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct. If during those two years, the accuser claims that there were multiple penetrations in the SAME night (ie ‘same transaction’), then consecutive sentencing will apply.

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