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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROBERT ANDREWS (03/06/81)

filed: March 6, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
ROBERT ANDREWS, APPELLANT



No. 185 PITTSBURGH, 1980, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence entered on February 5, 1980, in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Criminal Division, No. CC-7905689A

COUNSEL

Paulette Balogh, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Kathryn L. Simpson, Assistant District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cercone, P. J., Shertz and Wieand, JJ. Wieand, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Shertz

[ 285 Pa. Super. Page 102]

Appellant was convicted in a non-jury trial of two counts of Receiving Stolen Property*fn1 and one count of Forgery.*fn2 In this direct appeal from a Judgment of Sentence entered on February 5, 1980, Appellant asserts that (1) the trial court erred in refusing to quash the Complaint filed against him, (2) the trial court erred in granting a Rule 1100 extension to the Commonwealth, and (3) there was no probable cause for his arrest. Our review of the record indicates that no reversible error was committed and we therefore affirm the Judgment of Sentence.

The facts of this case are uncontroverted. On July 3, 1979, Appellant attempted to cash a $458.00 payroll check at the East Liberty location of Sears, Roebuck & Co., Pittsburgh. The check, dated June 29, 1979, was made out to Appellant and was purportedly drawn and signed by John D. Zotis of Zotis Quick Food Service.

At the Sears store, Appellant was informed by a cashier that store policy prohibited more than $250.00 in cash being paid out on any check. Appellant therefore agreed to have $208.00 credited to his Sears charge account and to take the remaining $250.00 in cash. Before cashing the check, the cashier took it to her supervisor, who phoned Mr. Zotis to confirm its genuineness. When Mr. Zotis stated that the check was forged and had been reported stolen, the supervisor called a Sears security guard and informed him that Appellant was attempting to pass a forged check. The guard observed Appellant for approximately ten minutes and then arrested him as he left the cashier's area and

[ 285 Pa. Super. Page 103]

    walked toward the escalators in the store. During a subsequent search of Appellant, the security guard discovered three credit cards in Appellant's possession, each bearing the name of Richard Hemphill.*fn3 The Pittsburgh police were summoned, and, upon their arrival, they arrested Appellant.

The information charging Appellant with the crimes of Forgery and Receiving Stolen Property was filed on October 26, 1979. Arraignment followed on November 9, 1979, fourteen days later, rather than within the ten day period provided in Pa.R.Cr.P., Rule 303.*fn4 Appellant, therefore, argues that, because Rule 303 was not complied with, the Complaint against him should have been quashed.

We begin our assessment of Appellant's contentions with an analysis of the function of Rule 303.*fn5 It is well settled that an arraignment is intended to fulfill three primary purposes: to make a definite identification of the accused, to give the accused notice of the charges against him and to give the accused the opportunity to enter a plea. Commonwealth v. Phelan, 427 Pa. 265, 234 A.2d 540 (1967) cert. denied, 391 U.S. 920, 88 S.Ct. 1803, 20 L.Ed.2d 657 (1968).

In the instant case, Appellant does not allege that he was prejudiced by the fourteen day lapse between the filing of the information and his arraignment. Further, it is apparent ...


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