Prison Time for Attempted Theft by Unlawful Taking In Pennsylvania

In Commonwealth v. Williams, 443 Pa. Super. 479, 662 A.2d 658 (Pa. Super. 1995), Williams pled guilty to attempted theft by unlawful taking and was sentenced to eleven and one-half to twenty-three months incarceration plus three years probation. Williams served the entire twenty-three months and was then placed on probation. His probation was subsequently revoked, and he was sentenced to serve three and one-half to seven years, the maximum allowed on the attempted theft charge. Williams was not credited with the twenty-three months he served. Our Pennsylvania Superior Court held that because Williams had served the entire twenty-three months on the attempted theft charge, and the three and one-half to seven year term was the maximum sentence allowed by law, to impose the additional twenty-three months would violate 18 Pa.C.S. 1103(3) which established the maximum at seven years. The Superior Court credited Williams with the twenty-three months already served as well as eight months and twenty-three days he served on a probation violation detainer. Williams, 662 A.2d at 659. 18 Pa.C.S. 1103(3) provides: Except as provided in 42 Pa.C.S. 9714 (relating to sentences for second and subsequent offenses), a person who has been convicted of a felony may be sentenced to imprisonment as follows: (3) In the case of a felony of the third degree, for a term which shall be fixed by the court at not more than seven years.