Criminal Law

Criminal History and Criminal Livelihood - Criminal History

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November 1, 2005GUIDELINES MANUAL§4A1.1

5. §4A1.1(e). Two points are added if the defendant committed any part of the instant offense (i.e., any relevant conduct) less than two years following release from confinement on a sentence counted under §4A1.1(a) or (b). This also applies if the defendant committed the instant offense while in imprisonment or escape status on such a sentence. Failure to report for service of a sentence of imprisonment is to be treated as an escape from such sentence. See §4A1.2(n). However, if two points are added under §4A1.1(d), only one point is added under §4A1.1(e).

6. §4A1.1(f). Where the defendant received two or more prior sentences as a result of convictions for crimes of violence that are treated as related cases but did not arise from the same occasion (i.e., offenses committed on different occasions that were part of a single common scheme or plan or were consolidated for trial or sentencing; see Application Note 3 of the Commentary to §4A1.2), one point is added under §4A1.1(f) for each such sentence that did not result in any additional points under §4A1.1(a), (b), or (c). A total of up to 3 points may be added under §4A1.1(f). "Crime of violence" is defined in §4B1.2(a); see §4A1.2(p).

For example, a defendant’s criminal history includes two robbery convictions for offenses committed on different occasions that were consolidated for sentencing and therefore are treated as related. If the defendant received a five-year sentence of imprisonment for one robbery and a four-year sentence of imprisonment for the other robbery (consecutively or concurrently), a total of 3 points is added under §4A1.1(a). An additional point is added under §4A1.1(f) because the second sentence did not result in any additional point(s) (under §4A1.1(a), (b), or (c)). In contrast, if the defendant received a one-year sentence of imprisonment for one robbery and a nine-month consecutive sentence of imprisonment for the other robbery, a total of 3 points also is added under §4A1.1(a) (a one-year sentence of imprisonment and a consecutive nine-month sentence of imprisonment are treated as a combined one-year-nine-month sentence of imprisonment). But no additional point is added under §4A1.1(f) because the sentence for the second robbery already resulted in an additional point under §4A1.1(a). Without the second sentence, the defendant would only have received two points under §4A1.1(b) for the one-year sentence of imprisonment.

Background: Prior convictions may represent convictions in the federal system, fifty state systems, the District of Columbia, territories, and foreign, tribal, and military courts. There are jurisdictional variations in offense definitions, sentencing structures, and manner of sentence pronouncement. To minimize problems with imperfect measures of past crime seriousness, criminal history categories are based on the maximum term imposed in previous sentences rather than on other measures, such as whether the conviction was designated a felony or misdemeanor. In recognition of the imperfection of this measure however, §4A1.3 authorizes the court to depart from the otherwise applicable criminal history category in certain circumstances.

Subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) of §4A1.1 distinguish confinement sentences longer than one year and one month, shorter confinement sentences of at least sixty days, and all other sentences, such as confinement sentences of less than sixty days, probation, fines, and residency in a halfway house.

Section 4A1.1(d) implements one measure of recency by adding two points if the defendant was under a criminal justice sentence during any part of the instant offense.

Section 4A1.1(e) implements another measure of recency by adding two points if the defendant committed any part of the instant offense less than two years immediately following his release from

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