By Jeffrey Thomson
State v. Sommer, 2011 VT 59
When determining the length of a convict’s prison sentence,
law requires the court to apply credit for time spent in custody awaiting trial. This requirement is clearly set out in 13 V.S.A. § 7031(b), Vermont
The sentence of imprisonment of any person convicted of an offense shall commence to run from the date on which the person is received at the correctional facility for service of the sentence. The court shall give the person credit toward service of his or her sentence for any days spent in custody in connection with the offense for which sentence was imposed.
However, this type of pre-sentence credit does not apply if the individual is already serving a sentence for a previous conviction. In essence, you cannot use §7031(b) to have the time spent serving your first sentence applied towards your second sentence. Common sense . . . right? Perhaps not, because this is exactly what Mr. Sommer tries to accomplish in today’s case.