Articles Posted in DUI Appeal

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calendarA driver appealed from the order entered in the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas denying his motion for a waiver or reduction of the court costs and fines imposed as a result of his July 8, 2014 conviction and sentence for one count of driving under the influence of a controlled substance. The Pennsylvania Superior Court dismissed the appeal.

The driver raised the following issues on appeal:  (1) whether the trial court erred when it did not hear the trial set and accepted a guilty plea; (2) whether the trial court erred when it failed to remove defense counsel and appoint new counsel for the driver; and (3) whether the trial court erred when it denied the driver’s petitions to waive court costs and fines.

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forestA driver appealed from the August 26, 2016 judgment of sentence entered in the Mercer County Court of Common Pleas following his bench trial conviction for driving under the influence — highest rate of alcohol. The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed.

In disposing of the driver’s motion to suppress, the trial court set forth the following facts. On October 3, 2015, at around 4:00 a.m., an officer received a dispatch of a possible accident in Jackson Township. He arrived, and a second marked cruiser arrived on the scene. Upon arrival, the troopers discovered a Jeep Grand Cherokee that had gone off the road and had skidded into a small wooded area.

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A defendant appealed from the judgment of a sentence of nine to 16 months’ imprisonment entered in the York County Court of Common Pleas following his bench trial convictions of DUI, possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving under suspension, DUI-related. He challenged the sufficiency of the evidence for his possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia convictions. The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed his conviction.

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The defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient because the Commonwealth failed to establish he constructively possessed the marijuana or drug paraphernalia found in the vehicle he was driving. He contended that the evidence did not prove that he knew the drugs or drug paraphernalia were in the vehicle or that he intended to possess or exercise dominion over the drugs. He emphasized that the vehicle in question belonged to his wife, and, as a passenger at the time in question, she was within arm’s reach of the contraband. Therefore, he claimed the evidence failed to establish that he was responsible for the drugs and drug paraphernalia in the car. Thus, he argued that the court should vacate his judgment of sentence. The Pennsylvania Superior Court found to the contrary that no relief was due.

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ATVA driver appealed his March 2016 DUI conviction from the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas. Specifically, he contested the court’s denial of his motion to suppress the results of his blood alcohol content (“BAC”) test, and he challenged the constitutionality of section 1543(b)(2) of Pennsylvania’s vehicle code. The Pennsylvania Superior Court disagreed and affirmed the driver’s convictions.

A state trooper was responding to the reported theft of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) when he was notified that the complainant had stopped the alleged thief on a nearby road. When the trooper arrived, the driver was standing next to an ATV in the roadway. The complainant was in a truck parked behind the driver’s ATV, and two other state troopers were also present.

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A driver appealed from the March 3, 2016 judgment of sentence the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, finding him guilty of DUI. On appeal, he argued that the trial court erred in finding the arresting officer had a reasonable suspicion to believe he was involved in criminal activity. The Pennsylvania Superior Court disagreed and affirmed the judgment.

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On June 24, 2015, an officer was on patrol with his car window down. It was around 1 a.m. when he saw a beige Buick parked in front of 920 High Street. As he drove past, he saw a man talking to the driver and heard a woman yelling and screaming. The woman was seated in the front passenger seat and seemed to be yelling at someone inside the car.

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The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently reversed a driver’s DUI conviction and remanded to the trial court to determine whether his consent to a blood test was validly obtained in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Birchfield v. North Dakota.

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At around 3 AM in September 2015, an officer was on routine patrol in Allegheny County. He was driving on State Route 88 when he noticed the driver’s vehicle with both passenger side tires on the shoulder of the roadway with tires over the fog line. The vehicle appeared to be traveling over the speed limit, so the officer turned around in order to follow the driver and determine his speed. The driver made a left turn on Hamilton Road and traveled up Hamilton by driving up the middle of the road, his vehicle in both lanes of travel. There were no obstructions or road conditions that would cause the driver to take up both lanes of travel. The officer then activated his lights and conducted a traffic stop.

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A defendant appealed from a judgment of sentence imposed in March 2016, after he was found guilty of two counts of DUI-controlled substance and one count of failing to drive on the right side of a roadway. The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed his conviction.

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On January 11, 2015, at approximately 1:50 a.m., two Pennsylvania State Troopers were driving in the Canandohta Lake area. One of them was driving south on Lakeview Drive when he observed the defendant’s car approaching him. The officer testified that he saw that the defendant’s vehicle was somewhat in his lane of travel and that as the two vehicles approached each other, the defendant’s vehicle slowly moved back into its proper lane. The officer then turned left into a private driveway, backed out onto Lakeview Drive, and proceeded northbound to follow the defendant. He testified that he decided to follow the defendant based on the observation that he was not driving in his lane.

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A driver appealed from his 2015 conviction of driving under the influence of a controlled substance (DUI), third offense. Concluding that his arguments lacked merit, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed his conviction.

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In October 2014, a police officer was on routine patrol at around 10:30 p.m. in a marked vehicle. He observed a vehicle traveling very slowly, and due to the number of thefts from vehicles in the area, he became suspicious and followed the vehicle. Based on his own speedometer, he determined that the vehicle was traveling at only about 10-15 miles an hour in an area in which the speed limit was 25 miles per hour. The officer observed that the license plate light was not functioning. Based on the suspicious manner of driving in an area with numerous vehicular thefts from vehicles, as well as the fact that the license plate was not illuminated, the officer stopped the vehicle. While speaking to the driver, he noticed that his eyes were glassy, and his pupils were dilated and did not react to light in a way that he, as a former trained EMT, determined to be appropriate. These were all indicators that the driver was possibly under the influence.

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The Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently affirmed a defendant’s DUI conviction, rejecting his argument that he was merely sleeping in the car that his mother had driven.

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At around midnight in July 2015, a woman was driving on Route 743. She noticed a car driving erratically in the right shoulder of the road. Ms. Kortwright followed the car for a while and then called 911 with the car’s license plate number. She stopped following the car when it turned into the Hollywood Casino.

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The Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently remanded for re-sentencing an appellant’s DUI conviction because he was subjected to enhanced penalties provided by sections 3803 and 3804 for refusing to provide a blood sample, in contravention of the United States Supreme Court’s recent directive.

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In the early morning of February 12, 2015, an officer witnessed a driver’s vehicle sideswipe a legally parked car. The officer initiated a traffic stop. When the driver rolled down the vehicle window, a strong odor of alcohol emanated from the vehicle. The officer and his colleague noticed that the driver had red, glassy eyes, and his speech was slurred.

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