If the federal sentence is imposed second and the federal judge orders that the sentences run concurrently, then each day he does in custody will count as a day toward both the state and federal sentences. An inmate serves about 3 1/2 years on a 4 year federal sentence (after good time). As long as he does that much time in state custody, his federal sentence will be over.
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If the sentences run concurrently, and the state sentence is truly a 10 year sentence, then the state sentence will satisfiy the federal sentence. The prisoner will get approximately 48 days federal credit for every year sentenced in federal court. If the state sentence is credited similarly, the state time served will satisfy the federal sentence.
The problem is, there are a number of things that will determine whether or not it is truly a concurrent sentence. One question is whether the prisoner was first in state custody or in federal custody. It also depends if the crimes are related. Language that the federal judge puts into the judgment can also affect whether or not they truly run concurrently. Just because the judge says the sentences should be concurrent doesn't mean the Bureau of Prisons will regard them as concurrent.
You need to retain an attorney who has a working knowledge of how the Bureau of Prisons evaluates these things to make sure the prisoner gets what he/she is bargaining for.
If the state sentence was imposed first, and the federal sentence was imposed while the defendant was "on a writ" or "loaned" to the US Marshals' custody for the resolution of the federal case, then the sentences will run consecutively as a default rule. However, if the federal judge ordered the sentences to run concurrently, the Federal Bureau of Prisons will follow that directive except under limited circumstances (any orders by the state judge are irrelevant to the Bureau of Prisons).
Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.
NATIONAL FEDERAL DEFENSE GROUP
I agree with the other attorneys. I would add that, if he has not already been "served" with his federal warrant, he can ask for that to be done. He should then start receiveing credit.
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