Truth in Sentencing: Consecutive vs. Concurrent Sentencing
In Illinois, when someone is either convicted or pleads guilty to a crime, they are subject to the sentencing parameters of that specific crime. When someone is either convicted or pleads guilty, their attorney should make them the aware of the possible sentences and penalties of their specific charge. One concept an individual should be made aware of in regards to sentencing is the concept of consecutive versus concurrent sentencing. When someone is charged with more than one offense or has multiple counts of the same offense, an analysis must be made whether those sentences would run consecutively or concurrently.
Section 730 ILCS 5/5-8-4 in the Illinois Unified Code of Corrections outline all of the offenses in Illinois as to what sentences run consecutive and concurrent. Consecutive and Concurrent are defined as follows:
CONCURRENT sentencing is when someone is convicted of either multiple offenses or counts, that the sentences imposed on each separate charge or count would run AT THE SAME TIME. For example, if someone is convicted of Armed Robbery and Aggravated Kidnapping and receives a sentence for six years on each offense, those sentences would run AT THE SAME TIME. This concept also applies to a person serving a term for a felony and misdemeanor offense at the same time, as well as if the individual is already imprisoned in Illinois or another jurisdiction for another offense unless the offense is consecutive under Illinois law.
CONSECUTIVE sentencing is when someone is convicted of either multiple offenses or counts, that the sentences imposed on each separate charge or count would run one after another. For Example, if an individual is convicted on five counts of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault and received a sentence for 6 years on each count, those sentences would run one after another thus resulting in the individual serving 30 years in The Illinois Department of Corrections.
Most of the time, consecutive sentencing is mandated by statute and the Judge cannot deviate from mandatory consecutive sentencing. There is also a concept known as permissive consecutive sentencing. The court has discretion impose permissive consecutive sentencing under limited circumstances. Those limited circumstances are as follows:
(c) Consecutive terms; permissive. The court may impose consecutive sentences in any of the following circumstances:
(1) If, having regard to the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and character of the defendant, it is the opinion of the court that consecutive sentences are required to protect the public from further criminal conduct by the defendant, the basis for which the court shall set forth in the record.
(2) If one of the offenses for which a defendant was convicted was a violation of Section 32-5.2 (aggravated false personation of a peace officer) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/32-5.2) or a violation of subdivision (b)(5) or (b)(6) of Section 17-2 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012 (720 ILCS 5/17-2) and the offense was committed in attempting or committing a forcible felony.
Sentencing is a very complex legal concept. An individual and their attorney must be aware of all sentencing concepts and parameters in their case. Because the knowledge of consecutive and concurrent sentencing is imperative to how to approach a criminal case. Not having the knowledge of consecutive and concurrent sentencing concepts can have devastating results upon a client’s case. Wigell Law Group has handled many cases involving consecutive and concurrent sentencing for over 40 years. Please don’t hesitate to contact us regarding your case. We are here to help.