A stacked sentence may best be illustrated by an example. If you are sentenced to three years for being convicted of one crime, and then sentenced to an additional eight years for anothercriminal conviction, the court has two options.
The court may allow you to serve both sentences for your convictions at the same time. This is called “simultaneous execution.” In such a scenario, it will seem that you only serve eight years because you are in prison for eight years only and it counts for both sentences. This is also sometimes called a concurrent sentence.
On the other hand, the prosecutor may file what is called a “cumulative prosecution.” In this process, you will have to serve the first sentence for one criminal conviction and then serve the second sentence for the second criminal conviction. This is called stacking sentences. Thesentence for the second conviction (eight years) will not begin until the first sentence for three years has been completed. This type of criminal sentence is also sometimes referred to as a consecutive sentence.
The Decision of Stacked Sentencing
In Texas, a defendant has the right to select a jury or judge for sentencing. However, if there is more than one jury verdict, the judge must decide whether the defendant’s sentence will be served simultaneously or cumulatively.
The court’s decision will be based on section 42.08 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. According to this section, when sentencing a large number of crimes, the court should consider in subsequent decisions whether the sentence will be carried out simultaneously or consecutively.
This general rule for allowing impositions or simultaneous convictions applies regardless of whether a decision has been made or suspended. As a result, the court has a wide margin of discretion to explain whether sentences accumulate or continue to be enforced simultaneously. However, there are some cases in which a judge cannot stack the sentence of an accused person.
When a Judge is Prohibited From Stacking Sentences
If the accused person is found guilty of several crimes involving the same criminal division and is charged within the same criminal case, the sentences are often generally ordered to be executed at the same time (i.e., charged within the same trial for DWi and illegal possession).
The jurisdiction also recognizes several convictions related to drinking and certain sex crimes under section 3.03 (b) of the Texas Penal Code.
Contact an Experienced Flower Mound Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Legal matters can be complex, and you should seek the help of an experienced attorney. Contact the attorneys atAbel Law Firm today to schedule a consultation. We will work to create the best possible defense strategy for the criminal charges that you are facing and attempt to get the best possible outcome for your case. In some situations, we may even be able to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed. Contact us today to ensure your rights are protected.