State v. Beets

In State v. Beets, 124 Wis. 2d 372, 369 N.W.2d 382 (1985), the defendant asserted he was entitled to credit on one sentence for time he spent in prison serving another sentence. Id. at 376. The supreme court concluded that the defendant was not so entitled, in part because the two sentences were not connected by the same course of conduct. Id. at 378. Beets was placed on probation following his conviction on drug-related offenses. Later, he was arrested on a burglary charge and a probation hold on the drug convictions was lodged against him. Eventually, Beets's probation was revoked, he was sentenced to prison and he was credited for his presentence confinement. See 124 Wis. 2d at 374-375. Beets later pled guilty to the burglary charge and he was sentenced to prison. He sought sentence credit for the same period of time previously credited on the drug sentences. The trial court granted this request. However, Beets also sought additional credit for the period of confinement following his sentencing on the drug charges and the sentencing on the burglary charge. The trial court denied this request and the court of appeals affirmed. See 124 Wis. 2d at 376. Upon further review, the supreme court identified the issue as whether Beets's confinement following his prior sentencing on the drug charges was "in connection with the course of conduct for which sentence was imposed" pursuant to Wis. Stat. 973.155(1) (1981-82). See Beets, 124 Wis. 2d at 377. Affirming the court of appeals, the court ruled that it was not. The court stated that "any connection which might have existed between custody for the drug offenses and the burglary was severed when the custody resulting from the probation hold was converted into a revocation and sentence." Id. at 379. The Court held that the time served on a sentence after probation revocation and before sentencing on the revocation triggering offense is not to be credited against the later sentence on the revocation triggering offense. It stated that "it is clear that, unless the acts for which the first and second sentences are imposed are truly related or identical, the sentencing on one charge severs the connection between the custody and the pending charges." 124 Wis. 2d at 383. Beets was on probation from drug convictions when he was arrested for burglary. See 124 Wis. 2d at 374. Seventy-eight days after his arrest, and after probation revocation, the trial court imposed a three-year sentence for the drug convictions. See 124 Wis. 2d at 375. One hundred and ninety-two days after sentencing on the drug charges, Beets was sentenced to three years for the burglary, to run concurrently with his drug sentence. See id. Beets received only seventy-eight days' credit toward his three-year burglary sentence. The supreme court held that he was not entitled to credit for the 192 days during which he was serving his sentence on the drug charge because once Beets began serving the drug sentence, his confinement was no longer "in connection with the course of conduct for which sentence for burglary was imposed." 124 Wis. 2d at 378. Thus, under Beets, a defendant is not entitled to credit for custody while awaiting sentencing when that custody is also satisfying a "sentence" for a different offense. The supreme court explained that the connection between an original offense and a revocation triggering offense is a temporal connection: That there is a relationship, not between the charges, but between the causes of confinement on two separate charges. See id. The connection between the separate charges is severed upon sentencing on one of the charges. See 124 Wis. 2d at 383.