Criminal Law

Multiple Counts - Adjustments

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§3D1.3GUIDELINES MANUALNovember 1, 2005

Historical Note:: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendments 257 and 303); November 1, 2001 (see Appendix C, amendment 617); November 1, 2004 (see Appendix C, amendment 674).

§3D1.4. Determining the Combined Offense Level

The combined offense level is determined by taking the offense level applicable to the Group with the highest offense level and increasing that offense level by the amount indicated in the following table:

Number of UnitsIncrease in Offense Level
1none
1 1/2add 1 level
2add 2 levels
2 1/2 - 3add 3 levels
3 1/2 - 5add 4 levels
More than 5 add 5 levels.

In determining the number of Units for purposes of this section:

(a) Count as one Unit the Group with the highest offense level. Count one additional Unit for each Group that is equally serious or from 1 to 4 levels less serious.

(b) Count as one-half Unit any Group that is 5 to 8 levels less serious than the Group with the highest offense level.

(c) Disregard any Group that is 9 or more levels less serious than the Group with the highest offense level. Such Groups will not increase the applicable offense level but may provide a reason for sentencing at the higher end of the sentencing range for the applicable offense level.

Commentary

Application Notes:

1. Application of the rules in §§3D1.2 and 3D1.3 may produce a single Group of Closely Related Counts. In such cases, the combined offense level is the level corresponding to the Group determined in accordance with §3D1.3.

2. The procedure for calculating the combined offense level when there is more than one Group of Closely Related Counts is as follows: First, identify the offense level applicable to the most serious Group; assign it one Unit. Next, determine the number of Units that the remaining Groups represent. Finally, increase the offense level for the most serious Group by the number of levels indicated in the table corresponding to the total number of Units.

Background: When Groups are of roughly comparable seriousness, each Group will represent one Unit. When the most serious Group carries an offense level substantially higher than that applicable

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