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COMMONWEALTH v. RODRIQUEZ (06/21/74)

decided: June 21, 1974.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
RODRIQUEZ, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Berks County, No. 658 of 1973, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Julio L. Rodriquez.

COUNSEL

William F. Ochs, Jr., Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.

Grant E. Wesner, Deputy District Attorney, and Robert L. VanHoove, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Price, J.

Author: Price

[ 229 Pa. Super. Page 450]

The question presented to us on this direct appeal is whether the lower court abused its discretion when sentencing appellant to 1-2 years imprisonment and directing him to pay a $500.00 fine plus the costs of prosecution and $18.00 restitution, following his conviction of simple assault and battery.

This case arose from an incident on May 6, 1973, at approximately 10:15 p.m. in Magisterial District 23-3-5, City of Reading, Pennsylvania. At that time, the appellant was being transported from Reading's City Hall to the Berks County Prison by Constable William I. Huber, the complainant below. The appellant was kept under restraint until the arrival at the prison, when Mr. Huber removed one handcuff, but had difficulty in unlocking the other. As he bent over the appellant to work on the handcuff, Mr. Huber was struck with appellant's free hand. The complainant sustained a cut on his lip and was treated as an outpatient at a local hospital. Mr. Huber lodged a Criminal Complaint against appellant on May 7, 1973, charging him with aggravated assault and battery.

The matter was bound over to the Grand Jury, and following the indictment, tried on September 25, 1973. The jury found appellant guilty of simple assault and battery. No post-trial motions were filed.

On November 21, 1973, at the sentence hearing, appellant was directed to pay the costs of prosecution and to make restitution of $18.00 to Mr. Huber. In addition, appellant was ordered to pay a fine of $500.00 and to undergo imprisonment for a term of one to two years, effective November 21, 1973. Appellant was at all times represented by his present counsel. This appeal from sentence was filed on November 28, 1973.

The appellant contends that because of his socioeconomic situation and the circumstances of his crime the sentence imposed against him was manifestly excessive

[ 229 Pa. Super. Page 451]

    and constituted an abuse of discretion by the court below. We do not agree with his contention and will therefore affirm the sentence.

As a general rule, an appellate court will not review a sentence imposed which is within the statutory maximum, unless a showing of illegality is made. Commonwealth v. Brown, 443 Pa. 274, 277, 278 A.2d 170 (1971). A lower court has broad discretionary powers to receive relevant information which will enable it to exercise its discretion in determining the proper sentence or penalty, subject to the limitations prescribed by statute. Commonwealth v. Cox, 441 Pa. 64, 70, 270 A.2d 207 (1970). And an appellate court will not interfere with the exercise of such discretion unless the sentence imposed is manifestly excessive. Commonwealth v. Person, 450 Pa. 1, 5, ...


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