Commonwealth v. Lopez, PICS Case No. 14-0182 (C.P. Berks Dec. 10, 2013) Lopez, J. (6 pages).

COURTS OF COMMON PLEAS

The Legal Intelligencer

CRIMINAL LAW

PCRA Relief • Inchoate Offenses

Commonwealth v. Lopez, PICS Case No. 14-0182 (C.P. Berks Dec. 10, 2013) Lopez, J. (6 pages).

Defendant's sentence was not illegal because criminal conspiracy is not inchoate offense. Appeal should be denied.

Defendant pled guilty to four counts of possession with intent to distribute, and to one count each of criminal conspiracy, corrupt organizations, and criminal use of a communication facility. In accordance with the plea agreement, defendant was sentenced to an aggregate term of 10 to 20 years. In his second PCRA petition, defendant contended that his sentence was illegal because 18 Pa.C.S. §906 "prohibited convictions and/or consecutive sentences for the inchoate offenses of criminal conspiracy and the inchoate offense of corrupt organizations."

The court found defendant's petition without merit. Section 906 provides "a person may not be convicted of more than one of the inchoate crimes of criminal attempt, criminal solicitation or criminal conspiracy for conduct designed to commit or culminate in the commission of the same crime." Defendant relied on outdated precedent to advance his argument; the offense of corrupt organizations was deleted from the statute as an inchoate crime in 1986. As a result, defendant's argument was without merit. Moreover, even if the defendant's assertion were correct, it would not affect his aggregate sentence, because the sentence he received for corrupt organizations ran concurrent with a five- to 10-year sentence.