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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Vellon v. Dep't of Transp., Bureau of Driver Licensing

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court squeezed in two crucial holdings regarding driver's license suspensions resulting from DUI convictions. Vellon was arrested for DUI and was accepted into ARD. But he violated the terms of ARD by picking up another DUI arrest. He was kicked out of ARD and subsequently pled to…

Vellon v. Dep’t of Transp., Bureau of Driver Licensing
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court squeezed in two crucial holdings regarding driver’s license suspensions resulting from DUI convictions. Vellon was arrested for DUI and was accepted into ARD. But he violated the terms of ARD by picking up another DUI arrest. He was kicked out of ARD and subsequently pled to both charges. He was sentenced… Continue reading Vellon v. Dep’t of Transp., Bureau of Driver Licensing

Commonwealth v. Gill
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court reviewed an order denying the defendant’s first PCRA petition after being convicted of DUI and sentenced as a second-time offender. The first DUI was based on his acceptance into the ARD program. The Court held that its decision in Commonwealth v. Chichkin was a new constitutional procedural that applies to future… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Gill

Commonwealth v. Lee
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that a juvenile adjudication of delinquency for DUI qualifies as a first offense for sentence enhancement purposes. While she was on probation for her guilty plea to DUI, the defendant violated and was re-sentenced. She appealed, challenging her underlying sentence on the DUI charge, not the revocation proceedings or sentence.… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Lee

Commonwealth v. Hand
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the denial of post-conviction relief for a defendant who made allegations of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The case was a pre-Birchfield blood-draw DUI. The defendant claimed counsel was ineffective for failing to object when a police officer opined why there were exigent circumstances for a warrant. The Superior Court… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Hand

Commonwealth v. Banks
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Commonwealth v. Banks, the defendant appealed his convictions of DUI, VUFA, and related charges. On appeal, he claimed: 1. the evidence was insufficient to convict him of DUI, and 2. the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss the VUFA charges on the grounds of double jeopardy and collateral estoppel in that… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Banks

Commonwealth v. Eid
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Commonwealth v. Eid presented the Pennsylvania Supreme Court with constitutional challenges to the Vehicle Code’s enhancement of sentences for those who refuse chemical testing after driving under a suspended license. The Court concluded that the evidence was sufficient to sustain the defendant’s conviction for refusing to submit to a warrantless breath test, which, unlike a… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Eid

Commonwealth v. Vela-Garrett
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Commonwealth v. Vela-Garrett, the Pennsylvania Superior Court addressed the defendant’s argument that his conviction for endangering the welfare of a child (EWOC) was not supported by sufficient evidence. The defendant was convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana under 75 Pa.C.S. § 3802(d)(1)(iii), a strict-liability offense, and EWOC after he was stopped for… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Vela-Garrett

Commonwealth v. Dirosa
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Commonwealth v. Dirosa, the defendant challenged the sufficiency of the evidence for his DUI conviction, 75 Pa.C.S. § 3802(c). The defendant argued that the evidence did not establish he drove his car to a Wawa or that he was in actual physical control of the car while sitting in it at the Wawa parking… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Dirosa

Commonwealth v. Atkinson
Pennsylvania Superior Court

Commonwealth v. Atkinson involved an appeal from a trial court’s order denying a motion to dismiss based on the principles of compulsory joinder, 18 Pa.C.S. § 110. In 2013, Atkinson was arrested and charged with DUI and a summary violation of the Motor Vehicle Code (MVC). Two months later, she was found guilty of the… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Atkinson

Commonwealth v. Middaugh
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

In March 2014, Appellee was convicted of DUI. The clerk’s office was required to send PennDOT a record of the conviction within ten days after its occurrence. See75 Pa.C.S. § 6323(1)(i). For some reason, that office waited twenty-eight months after the ten-day deadline had passed to notify PennDOT of the conviction. When PennDOT received the… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Middaugh