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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Commonwealth v. Dabney

The Pennsylvania Superior Court rejected the defendant's novel argument that medical marijuana is not a Schedule I controlled substance for purposes of the DUI statute. The Court relied, in part, on its recent en banc decision in Commonwealth v. Stone in concluding that medical marijuana continues to be a schedule…

Commonwealth v. Dabney
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court rejected the defendant’s novel argument that medical marijuana is not a Schedule I controlled substance for purposes of the DUI statute. The Court relied, in part, on its recent en banc decision in Commonwealth v. Stone in concluding that medical marijuana continues to be a schedule I controlled substance. The Court… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Dabney

The New Jersey Appellate Division waded into a difficult double jeopardy issue after a trial court declared a mistrial. The State alleged that the defendant drove 80 mph while intoxicated in a 25 mph zone, causing a collision that killed his passenger. Mid-trial, a testifying hospital nurse identified an inconsistency in the lab results. That… Continue reading State v. Zadroga

The New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the defendant’s conviction for DWI but vacated his sentence as a second-time offender. The Court “reviewed the record, including the body camera recording of the defendant’s performance during the field sobriety tests, and found no basis to conclude there was an obvious and exceptional error in the  concurrent findings… Continue reading State v. Zingis

State v. Konecny
New Jersey Supreme Court

The New Jersey Supreme Court revisited State v. Laurick, in which the Court held that prior uncounseled convictions for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 could not be used to enhance a custodial sentence for a second or subsequent DWI offense. Here, the Supreme Court had to determine whether Laurick relief also… Continue reading State v. Konecny

Commonwealth v. May
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the lower court’s decision to preclude evidence from a defense expert and affirmed the mandatory sentence imposed. The defendant was charged and convicted under Section 3802(d)(1)(i), which prohibits driving with “any amount” of a Schedule I controlled substance in the driver’s blood. He wanted to call a defense expert at… Continue reading Commonwealth v. May

Commonwealth v. Banko
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the defendant’s convictions based on an automobile crash the defendant was involved in while he was intoxicated. The defendant claimed that the trial court violated his Sixth Amendment right to confrontation when it permitted testimony from a laboratory technician to testify regarding blood alcohol content results generated in the course… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Banko

Commonwealth v. Hayes
Pennsylvania Superior Court

After the defendant was found guilty of DUI, the sentencing court refused to consider one of the defendant’s prior DUIs from Maryland as a triggering offense for an enhanced sentence. The certified record in that case indicated that the defendant had pleaded not guilty and then was sentenced to “probation before judgment.” The Pennsylvania Superior… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Hayes

State v. Scudieri
New Jersey Appellate Division

The New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the defendant’s sentence for DUI, holding that the newly-amended statute did not apply. The defendant committed the offense before the new law’s enactment but was sentenced afterward. He challenged his sentence, contending that the trial court committed error when it did not apply the new refusal statute, which was… Continue reading State v. Scudieri

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