Criminal Law

Implementing the Total Sentence of Imprisonment - Determining the Sentence

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§5G1.2GUIDELINES MANUALNovember 1, 2005

adequate to achieve the total punishment, then the sentences on all counts shall run concurrently, except to the extent otherwise required by law.

(d) If the sentence imposed on the count carrying the highest statutory maximum is less than the total punishment, then the sentence imposed on one or more of the other counts shall run consecutively, but only to the extent necessary to produce a combined sentence equal to the total punishment. In all other respects, sentences on all counts shall run concurrently, except to the extent otherwise required by law.

(e) In a case in which subsection (c) of §4B1.1 (Career Offender) applies, to the extent possible, the total punishment is to be apportioned among the counts of conviction, except that (1) the sentence to be imposed on a count requiring a minimum term of imprisonment shall be at least the minimum required by statute; and (2) the sentence to be imposed on the 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) or § 929(a) count shall be imposed to run consecutively to any other count.

Commentary

Application Notes:

1. In General.—This section specifies the procedure for determining the specific sentence to be formally imposed on each count in a multiple-count case. The combined length of the sentences ("total punishment") is determined by the court after determining the adjusted combined offense level and the Criminal History Category. Except as otherwise required by subsection (e) or any other law, the total punishment is to be imposed on each count and the sentences on all counts are to be imposed to run concurrently to the extent allowed by the statutory maximum sentence of imprisonment for each count of conviction.

This section applies to multiple counts of conviction (1) contained in the same indictment or information, or (2) contained in different indictments or informations for which sentences are to be imposed at the same time or in a consolidated proceeding.

Usually, at least one of the counts will have a statutory maximum adequate to permit imposition of the total punishment as the sentence on that count. The sentence on each of the other counts will then be set at the lesser of the total punishment and the applicable statutory maximum, and be made to run concurrently with all or part of the longest sentence. If no count carries an adequate statutory maximum, consecutive sentences are to be imposed to the extent necessary to achieve the total punishment.

2. Mandatory Minimum and Mandatory Consecutive Terms of Imprisonment (Not Covered by Subsection (e)).—

(A) In General.—Subsection (a) applies if a statute (i) specifies a term of imprisonment to be imposed; and (ii) requires that such term of imprisonment be imposed to run consecutively to any other term of imprisonment. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (requiring mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment, based on the conduct involved, and also requiring the sentence imposed to run consecutively to any other term of imprisonment) and 18 U.S.C. § 1028A (requiring a mandatory term of imprisonment of either two or

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