Determining the offense seriousness level of each current conviction by referring to the Master Crime List.
The Master Crime List contains over 1,800 offenses, each ranked and placed into one of nine levels of seriousness. To determine the offense seriousness level of a particular crime, locate the offense on the Master Crime List using either the offense name (offense) or General Law reference (offense reference). The offense seriousness level is indicated to the left of each entry.
Where multiple offense convictions result from the same criminal conduct, the most serious offense according to the rankings in the Master Crime List should be treated as the governing offense for determining the base sentence.
Some crimes broadly defined to encompass a wide range of behavior were staircased (i.e., placed at more than one level on the sentencing guidelines grid) based on a specified factor. These offenses are identified by a notation on the Master Crime List. When offenses are staircased, determine the appropriate level by taking into account:
- the value of property lost (e.g., Larceny); or
- the degree of injury to victim (e.g., Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon); or
- the display of a gun (e.g., Armed Robbery); or
- dwelling versus non-dwelling (e.g., Breaking and Entering).
illustration 1: An Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon resulting in no or minor injury has been placed at offense seriousness level 3; resulting in moderate injury at offense seriousness level 4; and resulting in significant injury at offense seriousness level 6. Degree of injury is defined in Attachment A.
- Ranking Misdemeanors
If a misdemeanor does not appear on the Master Crime List its offense seriousness level may be determined by its maximum sentence by statute, such that:
- Level 2: Maximum statutory penalty of incarceration for more than 6 months up to and including 2 1/2 years.
- Level 1: Maximum statutory penalty of incarceration for 6 months or less.
- Second and Subsequent Convictions
There are certain offenses for which the statute sets forth a more severe penalty upon a second or subsequent conviction (e.g., Assault to Rape). In these cases the offense has been elevated one level on the offense seriousness scale.
Illustration 2: The offense of Assault to Rape has been placed at offense seriousness level 6. The offense of Assault to Rape - Subsequent Offense has been placed at offense seriousness level 7
Where the offense is already at Level 8 (e.g., Home Invasion) and could not be elevated one level, the guidelines call for the offender to be moved over one cell to the right.
- Offenses Punishable By Fine Only
The guidelines do not apply to offenses punishable only by a fine (e.g., failure to report hazing). For purposes of criminal history, these offenses have been assigned to offense seriousness level 1.
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