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Time Spent In Alaska Residential Treatment Not Credited Against Suspended Sentences

In a memorandum decision, the Alaska Court of Appeals held that time spent in a residential treatment program may not be credited against a suspended sentence later served. This time is not time served “pending trial, sentencing, or appeal” as required by AS l2.55.025(c).

James Triplett was sentenced in 2002 to four years for felony driving while intoxicated with two years suspended. He was released early on discretionary parole to a residential treatment program ordered by the parole board. He completed 168 days of the program and later completed parole but remained on probation. Triplett twice violated probation with the second incident, involving alcohol, resulting in a probation revocation and imposition of the previously suspended sentence.

Triplett moved for the 168 days spent in residential treatment to be applied against his suspended sentence. The superior court denied the motion reasoning that AS 12.55.025(c) did not apply because the parole board and not the court ordered the residential treatment.

On appeal, the Court found that AS l2.55.025(c) requires a sentencing court to give “credit for time spent in custody pending trial, sentencing, or appeal.” The Court noted that the Alaska Supreme Court includes time spent in residential treatment, as part of a court-ordered suspended sentence, to be time spent in custody for purposes of the statute.
Likewise, time spent in treatment while on bail must be credited. The Court then agreed with the lower court that Triplett’s time in treatment was ordered by the parole board, not the court, thus it was not time spent “pending trial, sentencing, or appeal.” See: Triplett v. State, 199 P.3d 1179 (Alas.App. 2008).

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Related legal case

Triplett v. State