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No Credit for Time Served, No Problem

By Robyn Hagan Cain on March 23, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Don’t assume that a federal court will give your client credit for time served for multiple supervised release violations.

This week, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a district court was not required to credit a defendant for his previous terms of revocation imprisonment.

After serving a 41-month sentence on firearm charges, Shannon Keith Hunt began serving a 3-year term of supervised release. Only six months into his term, Hunt failed to comply with the drug-testing condition of his release. The district court revoked supervised release and sentenced him to a year and a day in prison, followed by two years minus a day of supervised release.

After the second prison term, Hunt, again, failed a drug test in violation of the terms of his supervised release. This time, the court ordered Hunt to an outpatient drug-treatment program, but did not revoke supervised release.

Hunt failed another drug test, so he was ordered to a 90-day program at an inpatient drug treatment facility.

Before he could complete his inpatient treatment program -- or fail another drug test -- Hunt was kicked out for violent behavior towards other patients and staff. Since he didn't finish the program, the district court revoked his supervised release and sentenced him to 18 months in prison with no additional supervised release.

Hunt asked the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the new sentence, arguing that the district court erred in sentencing him to 18 months, because the time he spent in prison as a result of previous revocations should be included in the maximum amount of time he is required to serve. Hunt claimed that the sentences cumulatively exceed the maximum amount of supervised release authorized for his original offense, which federal law prohibits, reports the CBA CLE Legal Connection.

Hunt said that 18 U.S.C. § 3583 requires a sentencing court to credit prison time served for revocation up to a maximum of 18 months for his category of supervised release. The Tenth Circuit disagreed, noting that Hunt's interpretation failed to follow the plain language of the statute. Instead, the court concluded that prison time served for prior revocations should not be considered when calculating a sentence for a subsequent revocation of supervised release.

If you have a client who perpetually violates the terms of his supervised release, advise him to mind his Ps and Qs. The Tenth Circuit won't give a defendant credit for time served in prior terms of revocation imprisonment.

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