Michigan Attempt to Commit a Crime

The crime of attempt reduces the punishment. In some cases this does nothing. Consider a juvenile defendant age 12 charged with a 5-year felony. At the pretrial, the prosecutor offers an attempt with the selling point being that the maximum punishment is reduced. This is essentially an empty offer as to this defendant becauseaccording to MCL 750.92(2), if the offense so attempted is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 5 years or more, the person convicted of such attempt shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 5 years or in the county jail not more than 1 year. So, with the attempt, the maximum punishment for the juvenile could still be five years in a juvenile facility. As a matter of procedure, the case must be set on for trial.

The Michigan statute follows:

MCL 750.92 Attempt to commit crime.

Attempt to commit crime—Any person who shall attempt to commit an offense prohibited by law, and in such attempt shall do any act towards the commission of such offense, but shall fail in the perpetration, or shall be intercepted or prevented in the execution of the same, when no express provision is made by law for the punishment of such attempt, shall be punished as follows:

1. If the offense attempted to be committed is such as is punishable with death, the person convicted of such attempt shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 10 years;

2. If the offense so attempted to be committed is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for life, or for 5 years or more, the person convicted of such attempt shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 5 years or in the county jail not more than 1 year;

3. If the offense so attempted to be committed is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a term less than 5 years, or imprisonment in the county jail or by fine, the offender convicted of such attempt shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison or reformatory not more than 2 years or in any county jail not more than 1 year or by a fine not to exceed 1,000 dollars; but in no case shall the imprisonment exceed 1/2 of the greatest punishment which might have been inflicted if the offense so attempted had been committed.

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