Concurrent Sentences Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Concurrent Sentences, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Concurrent Sentences?

When a person is convicted of two or more crimes, instead of making him serve individually for both the crimes the judge can sombine the sentences, which is called concurrent sentence.In this case the longer period is the period to be served by the criminal.It is done on request, out of sympathy,or when two crimes are inter-related.

History and Meaning of Concurrent Sentences

Concurrent sentences are quite common in the United States' judicial system. They are a method of combining multiple sentences into one. This method is useful for both the judge and the person being sentenced as it saves time and resources. Concurrent sentences allow people serving multiple sentences to have them run at the same time. They will serve their longest sentence and, as a result, can reduce the time spent in prison. Concurrent sentences are usually given for crimes that are connected or committed during the same incident.

Examples of Concurrent Sentences

  1. John is convicted of arson for burning down his neighbor's garage and mischief for painting graffiti on the street. The judge decides to give John concurrent sentences, which means he will spend 3 years in prison instead of 5.

  2. Mary is found guilty of possession of drugs and drug trafficking. The judge gives her concurrent sentences, so she only has to spend 5 years in prison, which is the length of her longer sentence.

  3. Mike was found guilty of burglary and assault. The judge combined the sentences, which means Mike will spend 10 years in prison instead of 12, which is the total amount of each sentence added together.

Legal Terms Similar to Concurrent Sentences

  1. Consecutive Sentences - Instead of serving the sentences together, consecutive sentences require someone to serve them back-to-back.

  2. Suspended Sentences - A suspended sentence is a penalty imposed by a judge where all or part of the sentence is not actually served.

  3. Probation - Probation is a court-ordered period of time that allows someone to live in the community while they are under the supervision of a probation officer.