The Honorable Justice McMORROW delivered the opinion of the court:
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mcmorrow
The Honorable Justice McMORROW delivered the opinion of the court:
The question presented in this appeal is whether a defendant who, while out on bond awaiting trial on one charge, commits another offense and serves a sentence for it, is "simultaneously in custody on two charges" and therefore is entitled, under section 5--8--7(b) of the Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/5--8--7(b)(West 1992)), to in-custody credit for time served in prison for the sentences he received on both charges. The first district of the appellate court answered this question affirmatively. 273 Ill. App. 3d 1069, 652 N.E.2d 461, 209 Ill. Dec. 921. We allowed the State's petition for leave to appeal. 155 Ill. 2d R. 315. For the reasons which follow, we affirm the judgment of the appellate court.
On September 4, 1986, the defendant, Frank Robinson, was arrested for murder. He remained in custody for 37 days, until October 10, 1986, when he posted a $25,000 bond and was released. On January 16, 1988, while out on bond awaiting trial on the murder charges, defendant was arrested for an unrelated armed robbery and taken into custody. As a result of the armed robbery, the State filed a petition to increase defendant's bond on the murder case. On January 21, 1988, the court increased defendant's bond to $500,000. Defendant surrendered in exoneration of his previously posted bond and the proceeds of that bond were returned to his attorney.
On April 17, 1991, defendant entered a guilty plea on the armed robbery charge and was sentenced to a 6 1/2-year term of imprisonment. Defendant received credit against his armed robbery sentence for the 1,187 days spent in pretrial custody between January 16, 1988, and April 17, 1991. Because of this credit, and additional credit earned for good conduct, defendant had completed his sentence for armed robbery by no later than June 21, 1991. Accordingly, on that date, defendant moved to reduce the $500,000 bond on the pending murder charges. On July 24, 1991, defendant's bond on the murder charges was reduced to $20,000. The following day defendant posted bond and was released. Defendant spent a total of 1,282 days in custody from January 21, 1988, when he surrendered in exoneration of his first bond until July 25, 1991, when he was released on the new bond.
On February 26, 1993, the new bond was revoked when defendant was found guilty of murder and concealment of a homicidal death. Defendant was sentenced on April 12, 1993, to 22 years' imprisonment for the murder and two years' imprisonment for the concealment of a homicidal death. On May 7, 1993, a hearing was held to determine the amount of sentence credit to which defendant was entitled for time already spent in custody. During the hearing, defendant argued that under section 5--8--7(b) of the Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/5--8--7(b)(West 1992)) he was entitled to receive credit for the entire 1,282 days spent in pretrial custody between January 21, 1988, and July 25, 1991. Section 5--8--7(b) provides, in pertinent part, that an offender be given credit on his sentence
"for time spent in custody as a result of the offense for which the sentence was imposed ***." 730 ILCS 5/5--8--7(b) (West 1992).
The circuit court concluded that because the period from January 21, 1988, to April 17, 1991, had been credited towards defendant's armed robbery sentence, defendant was not entitled to have that same period of time credited towards his murder sentence. The circuit court determined, however, that defendant was entitled to 258 days of in-custody credit. Defendant was awarded 37 days' credit for the time spent in custody from September 4, 1986, the date of his arrest on the murder charge, to October 10, 1986, the date when he posted the first bond; 71 days' credit for the time spent in custody from February 26, 1993, the date that the second bond was revoked upon conviction, to May 7, 1993, the date of the hearing to determine sentence credit; and 150 days' credit in recognition of defendant's good behavior during the trial proceedings.
Defendant sought review of the circuit court's decision in the appellate court, arguing, inter alia, that he was entitled to sentence credit for the entire 1,282 days between January 21, 1988, and July 25, 1991. The appellate court agreed that defendant should be awarded the sentence credit. Relying on the definition of custody provided by this court in People v. Arnhold, 115 Ill. 2d 379, 105 Ill. Dec. 231, 504 N.E.2d 100 (1987), the appellate court concluded that when defendant surrendered in exoneration of the first bond on January 21, 1988, he was thereafter in simultaneous custody on the armed robbery charge and the murder charges. Therefore, according to the plain terms of section 5--8--7(b), he was entitled to credit on the murder sentence for the 1,282 days spent in custody prior to his release on July 25, 1991. The State's appeal followed.
This court's primary objective when construing the meaning of a disputed statute is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the legislature. People v. Zaremba, 158 Ill. 2d 36, 40, 196 Ill. Dec. 632, 630 N.E.2d 797 (1994). The most reliable indicator of legislative intent is the language of the statute itself. People v. Tucker, 167 Ill. 2d 431, 435, 212 Ill. Dec. 664, 657 N.E.2d 1009 (1995). The statutory language must be given its plain and ordinary meaning ( People v. Bole, 155 Ill. 2d 188, 197, 184 Ill. Dec. 423, 613 N.E.2d 740 (1993)), and where that language is clear and unambiguous, we must apply the statute without further aids of statutory construction ( Bole, 155 Ill. 2d at 198). Further, as a general matter, any ambiguities in a criminal statute must be resolved in favor of the defendant. People v. Foster, 99 Ill. 2d 48, 55, 75 Ill. Dec. 411, 457 N.E.2d 405 (1983). Because the construction of a statute is a question of law, our review is de novo. Vuletich v. United States Steel Corp., 117 Ill. 2d 417, 421, 111 Ill. Dec. 586, 512 N.E.2d 1223 (1987).
Our appellate court has split over the question presented in the instant appeal. The first, second and fifth districts have concluded that under section 5--8--7(b) a defendant is entitled to sentence credit for time spent in custody as a result of a failure to post bond, regardless of whether the defendant also receives credit for that time against a sentence on a separate offense. See People v. Robinson, 273 Ill. App. 3d 1069, 652 N.E.2d 1311, 210 Ill. Dec. 335 (1st Dist. 1995); People v. Tedford 112 Ill. App. 3d 603, 68 Ill. Dec. 197, 445 N.E.2d 841 (2d Dist. 1983); People v. Higgerson, 157 Ill. App. 3d 564, 109 Ill. Dec. 706, 510 N.E.2d 574 (5th Dist. 1987). The third and fourth districts, however, have construed section 5--8--7(b) more narrowly. Those districts have determined that section 5--8--7(b) entitles a defendant to in-custody credit only when the period of incarceration has not been credited towards another sentence. See People v. Uran, 196 Ill. App. 3d 293, 143 Ill. Dec. 51, 553 N.E.2d 758 (3d Dist. 1990); People v. Jones, 241 Ill. App. 3d 262, 181 Ill. Dec. 857, 608 N.E.2d 1331 (4th Dist. 1993).
Defendant urges us to follow the line of decisions from the first, second and fifth districts. Defendant argues that the only condition in section 5--8--7(b) which limits its application is the requirement that the offender be "in custody" on the relevant offense. Defendant further maintains that any ambiguity with respect to the basis of his custody from January 21, 1988, to April 17, 1991, is resolved by this court's decision in Arnhold. According to defendant, Arnhold supports his contention that he was in simultaneous custody on the armed robbery and murder offenses after he surrendered in exoneration of the first bond on January 21, 1988. Thus, ...