Criminal proceedings in Michigan can take months to complete from arraignment all the way to sentencing. In the meantime, the defendant may be sitting in county jail for the entire duration due to the inability to post bond. Once sentencing occurs, the defendant may be ordered by the judge to serve an even longer period in jail or prison for the convicted offense. Is the defendant entitled to credit for time served in jail against the sentence imposed?
Michigan’s jail credit statute, MCL 769.11b, provides as follows:
- “Whenever any person is hereafter convicted of any crime within this state and has served any time in jail prior to sentencing because of being denied or unable to furnish bond for the offense of which he is convicted, the trial court in imposing sentence shall specifically grant credit against the sentence for such time served in jail prior to sentencing.”
On its face, the statute grants credit to “any person” serving time in jail due to being “denied or unable to furnish bond”, and the jail time must be in relation to the “offense of which he is convicted.” This means that the jail credit cannot be the result of any of the following:
- INCARCERATED FOR UNRELATED OFFENSES: The jail credit statute does not apply when the defendant is released on bond for the immediate offense and, while pending disposition of these charges, is reincarcerated as a result of new charges from unrelated circumstances. People v Prieskorn, 424 Mich 327, 340; 381 NW2d 646 (1985).
- SERVING SENTENCE ON DIFFERENT OFFENSE: The jail credit statute does not apply when the defendant is serving time on a sentence and a subsequent offense is adjudicated during the incarceration, since it is not related to the denial or inability to furnish bond. People v Givan, 227 Mich App 113, 125-126; 575 NW2d 84 (1997).
- SERVING CONSECUTIVE SENTENCE: The defendant is not entitled to credit for time served against a sentence that MUST run consecutively to a sentence that the defendant was serving at the time of the new offense. People v Conner, 209 Mich App 419, 431-432; 531 NW2d 734 (1995).
In People v Idziak, 484 Mich 549; 773 NW2d 616 (2009), the Michigan Supreme Court determined that the jail credit statute does not apply to parolees.
- “[W]e hold that the jail credit statute does not apply to a parolee who is convicted and sentenced to a new term of imprisonment for a felony committed while on parole because, once arrested in connection with the new felony, the parolee continues to serve out any unexpired portion of his earlier sentence unless and until discharged by the Parole Board. For that reason, he remains incarcerated regardless of whether he would otherwise be eligible for bond before conviction on the new offense. He is incarcerated not “because of being denied or unable to furnish bond” for the new offense, but for an independent reason. Therefore, the jail credit statute, MCL 769.11b, does not apply.” Id. at 562-563.
This means that a parolee serving time in jail before being sentenced on a new felony receives credit against the balance of the parolee’s remaining prison sentence, but NO credit applies against the new felony that actually caused the parolee to be incarcerated in jail again. This means that, as of the date of sentencing on the new felony, the parolee will have zero days of jail credit no matter how much time was spent in pretrial detention. The rationale is that parolees are always considered to be under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Corrections, and when parolees are arrested for a new felony, they automatically resume serving the balance of their prison sentence. As a result, they are not incarcerated for being “denied or unable to furnish bond” as required by the jail credit statute because they are actually resuming their prison sentence. However, take note that People v Idziak only applies to new felonies while on parole, not new misdemeanors.
Jail credit is a critical issue to be considered at sentencing so that criminal defendants do not serve any more time then necessary. As a result, you need a skilled criminal defense lawyer to argue for every day of credit that you are entitled to. If you are charged with any crime and need skilled legal representation, then do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at Kershaw, Vititoe & Jedinak PLC for assistance today.