Concurrency on Mandatory Sentences

"If I have two open cases and both are mandatory minimum cases, can I be sentenced to concurrent time?" -Huntley H.

The short answer is yes, Huntley. Imagine you have two open driving under the influence offenses, both of which count as third offenses, and both of which are one year mandatory minimum cases. This means that if you are convicted on either case, the Judge has no choice but to sentence you to at least one to two years jail.

If you lost both cases, then you would have a mandatory minimum sentence of one to two years on each of them.

It is absolutely possible to get the benefit of a concurrent sentence. The way that this would work in practice is one of the following three ways: First, you could consolidate both cases for guilty pleas before the same judge. Second, you could try one case first. If you lost, you could consolidate the other case for a plea before the same judge. Third, you could try both cases before different judges and ask to hold sentencing hearings on both cases on the same day. The second judge would then get to make the decision whether the time is served concurrently (all at once, together) or consecutively (serve time on one case and start time on the second case after being paroled on the first).

Generally speaking, you maximize the chances for concurrency if you don't bring both cases to trial, but, rather, plead guilty on at least one of them. Then again, you can't beat your case if you plead guilty. The choice in plea should be made only after consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney, a careful consideration of the risks and benefits for each strategy, and a full exploration of all possible defenses to each case.

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