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People v. Fransua

Court of Appeals of Colorado, First Division

May 19, 2016

The People of the State of Colorado, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Michael Alan Fransua, Defendant-Appellant.

         Pueblo County District Court No. 13CR1769 Honorable Victor I. Reyes, Judge

          Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General, Brock J. Swanson, Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellee

          Douglas K. Wilson, Colorado State Public Defender, Rachel K. Mercer, Deputy State Public Defender, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellant

          OPINION

          FOX JUDGE

         ¶ 1 Defendant, Michael Alan Fransua, appeals the order of the district court sentencing him to five years in the custody of the Department of Corrections (DOC), less 162 days of presentence confinement credit (PSCC). We affirm in part and reverse in part.

         I. Background

         ¶ 2 Because this case resolves issues concerning the calculation of PSCC, we review the relevant dates in detail. On October 25, 2013, Fransua was arrested after an altercation with his former girlfriend in her home. He was charged with first degree criminal trespass of a dwelling, second degree burglary, third degree assault, and harassment (the 2013 charges). Fransua was released on bond on December 5, 2013. Among other conditions, his bond prohibited him from consuming alcohol and contacting his former girlfriend pursuant to a protection order.

         ¶ 3 On March 1, 2014, a police officer was dispatched to the former girlfriend's home. The former girlfriend reported that Fransua was inside the home and would not leave. The officer then spoke with Fransua and noted the odor of alcohol on his breath. The officer arrested Fransua and charged him with trespass and violating bail bond conditions and the protection order (the 2014 charges).

         ¶ 4 Fransua ultimately pleaded guilty to attempted burglary arising from the 2013 case in exchange for dismissal of all the other 2013 and 2014 charges. On June 16, 2014, he was sentenced to five years in community corrections. Fransua served this sentence until September 23, 2014, when he walked away from the community corrections facility. He was arrested on October 19, 2014. On November 10, 2014, Fransua was resentenced to five years in DOC custody.

         ¶ 5 At the resentencing hearing, the court stated that Fransua "only is entitled to presentence confinement credit for time served on the case that he is being sentenced on." The court found that Fransua was in custody on the relevant charges from October 25, 2013, to December 5, 2013; June 16, 2014, to September 23, 2014; and October 19, 2014, to November 10, 2014, the date he was resentenced. Accordingly, the court awarded Fransua 162 days of PSCC, but declined to award him credit for the period from March 1, 2014, to June 16, 2014, which totals 108 days.

         ¶ 6 Fransua contends that the court erred by declining to award him PSCC for his March 1, 2014, to June 16, 2014, period of confinement and by miscalculating the number of days for which he is otherwise entitled to PSCC.

         II. Law and Analysis

         ¶ 7 We review whether a district court properly awarded PSCC de novo. People v. Wentling, 2015 COA 172, ¶ 47. A sentencing court does not have discretion to grant or deny PSCC. Edwards v. People, 196 P.3d 1138, 1144 (Colo. 2008). Rather, "[a] person who is confined for an offense prior to the imposition of sentence for said offense is entitled to credit against the term of his or her sentence for the entire period of such confinement." § 18-1.3-405, C.R.S. 2015. The defendant bears the burden of establishing entitlement to PSCC. People v. Freeman, 735 P.2d 879, 881 (Colo. 1987). A. PSCC for March 1, 2014, to June 16, 2014, Confinement

         ¶ 8 The original mandatory PSCC statute did not include an explicit causation link between presentence confinement and the sentence imposed:

A person who is confined prior to the imposition of sentence is entitled to credit against the term of his sentence for the entire period of such confinement. At the time of sentencing, the court shall make a finding of the amount of presentence confinement to which the offender is entitled and shall include such finding in the mittimus. Such period of confinement shall be deducted by the department of corrections.

Ch. 157, sec. 7, § 16-11-306, 1979 Colo. Sess. Laws 665-66. In Schubert v. People, 698 P.2d 788, 793 (Colo. 1985), the supreme court supplied this link by construing the statute as "intended to create a statutory entitlement to credit only with respect to the presentence confinement served in connection with the charge or conduct for which a particular sentence is imposed." Id. (emphasis added). The court held that "there must be a substantial nexus between [the] charge ...


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