Scenario 3:

Question : Defendant is charged in a local criminal court with disorderly conduct contrary to PL 240.20. In order to avoid a trial, the ADA offers a plea to the attempt to commit that offense, with the sentence to be left to the court. Is this a legal disposition?

Answer : The disposition is not authorized.

Under PL 110.00, a person is guilty of an attempt to commit a crime when, with intent to commit a crime, he engages in conduct which tends to effect the commission of such crime. A "crime" is a misdemeanor or a felony (PL 10.00(6)). Thus, the plea offer is improper, because disorderly conduct is a violation, and there is no such offense as an attempt to commit a violation. If the court were to permit the plea, there is no legal sentence that could be imposed.

GungaWeb handles the question like this:

This is an easy one. Click on Article 240, then PL 240.20 to retrieve the charge. Scroll down to the Sentences function area, and click the small triangle next to the drop-down list control to try to obtain a Sentencing Report for the attempt to commit this offense, as follows :

Observe that, based on the above analysis, GungaWeb will not permit calculation of sentences for an "attempt" to commit a violation such as PL 240.20.

With this result in hand, reformulate the proposed disposition so that a just result is achieved, within the law.

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