Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County, Sept. T., 1971, No. 383, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Paul D. Lapinsky.
W. J. Krencewicz, for appellant.
Charles A. Bressi, Jr., with him Joseph Holochuck, and Richard B. Russell, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Cercone, J.
[ 235 Pa. Super. Page 59]
Appellant was indicted and convicted by a jury of violating Section 624(6)*fn1 of The Vehicle Code which makes it unlawful for a person to operate a motor vehicle upon the highway after his operating privilege has been suspended or revoked. Appellant's sole contention is that the court which convicted him, a court of common pleas, lacked jurisdiction due to an amendment of the penalty provisions of Section 624 which became effective between the time appellant was indicted and the time he went to trial.
At the time appellant was indicted the penalty provisions of Section 624 provided the following for a violation of Section 624(6):
"Any person violating any of the provisions of clause (5), (6) or (7) of this section, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, upon conviction thereof in a court of quarter sessions,*fn2 be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) and not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) and costs of prosecution, or undergo imprisonment for not
[ 235 Pa. Super. Page 60]
more than three (3) years, or suffer both such fine and imprisonment."*fn3
When appellant went to trial the above provisions had been replaced by the following:
"Any person violating any of the provisions of clauses (6) or (7) of this section for the first offense, shall, upon summary conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) or more than two hundred dollars ($200.00) and costs of prosecution, or to undergo imprisonment for not more than two (2) months, or both."*fn4
On the basis of this change appellant argues that not only was the offense changed from a misdemeanor to a summary conviction, but also the tribunal having jurisdiction to try the offense was changed to a magistrate; and, since the amendatory act contained no saving clause or reservation as to pending prosecution, a court of common pleas had no jurisdiction to try and convict him. This argument appears convincing when one looks only to the above paragraph of the amendatory act; however, when the entire ...