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Sentence Credit – Concurrent Sentence, Foreign Jurisdiction

State v. Patrick C. Carter, 2010 WI 77, affirming as modified, 2007 WI App 255; for Carter: Ellen Henak, SPD, Milwaukee Appellate

Carter is entitled to sentence credit for time spent in custody in Illinois following his arrest on an outstanding Wisconsin warrant along with an Illinois charge, given that the resultant sentences were concurrent.

Five different opinions, 238 paragraphs spread out over 116 pages (pdf file), so take that into account in determining whether you want to rely on the terse summary above to the exclusion of reading the opinions for yourself. Couple of points though while you’re weighing that option. The majority rejects the idea, once and for all, that credit requires “exclusive” custody on that charge, ¶34. Carter was arrested, and held in Illinois pending extradition on this Wisconsin case, and the fact that he was also picked up and held on an otherwise unrelated Illinois charge didn’t disentitle him to credit. But there’s a bit of a catch. Ultimately, the facts matter as much as the law: “Thus we must determine in the instant case whether a “factual connection” exists between the defendant’s presentence Illinois custody (from December 13, 2003, to October 19, 2004) and the Wisconsin sentence imposed,” ¶57. And the facts have to be established in any given case: “A defendant seeking sentence credit in Wisconsin has the burden of demonstrating both “custody” and its connection with the course of conduct for which the Wisconsin sentence was imposed,” ¶11, citing State v. Villalobos, 196 Wis. 2d 141, 148, 537 N.W.2d 139 (Ct. App. 1995). Your burden. The operative legal principle might now be settled, but the facts in any given case aren’t, and if you fail to show whether or when the defendant was picked up in another state because of a Wisconsin charge, the defendant won’t get (all) the credit coming. Justice Gableman’s concurrence (¶¶84-87), the 4th and deciding vote, effectively makes this point:

¶85  The circuit court found (and the parties agree) that Carter’s arrest and confinement in Illinois were based in part on the outstanding Wisconsin felony warrant for first degree recklessly endangering safety. Specifically, the circuit court found that Carter “was arrested in Chicago, Illinois, on a probation violation warrant from Illinois and on the Wisconsin warrant” and that he “was held in custody resulting in part from the Wisconsin warrant issued in this case” from “December 13, 2003, until October 19, 2004,” excepting a six-day period while he “was serving his sentence” for the Illinois probation charge.[70]

Justice Gableman stresses the obligation to defer to trial court findings, on which he grounds the result.

Other larger principles? A consecutive sentence severs the credit connection to its companion sentence. As does a concurrent sentence imposed separately and earlier.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Sam Griff October 17, 2017, 1:38 pm

    Info very helpful in light of pending case in Illinois where defendant was picked up on a Wisconsin warrant.

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