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EDWIN S. BRADEN v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/09/81)

decided: October 9, 1981.

EDWIN S. BRADEN, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Edwin S. Braden, No. 1979-C-10808.

COUNSEL

George A. Hahalis, for appellant.

Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Counsel, with him Ward T. Williams, Chief Counsel of Transportation, and Jay C. Waldman, General Counsel, for appellee.

Judges Mencer, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 184]

This is an appeal by Edwin S. Braden (appellant) from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County which sustained a revocation of his operating privilege by the Department of Transportation (Department). We affirm.

At a jury trial in the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, held on April 12 and 13, 1977, the appellant was found guilty of failing to stop and render assistance, failing to give his name, address, and registration number, and failing to exhibit his license, in violation of Section 1027(b) of The Vehicle Code (Code).*fn1 The appellant's conviction was upheld by the

[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 185]

Superior Court, and a certification of his conviction was received by the Department. Thereafter, it notified him that his operator's license was being revoked for one year, pursuant to Section 616(a)(3) of the Code.*fn2 This section provided, inter alia :

(a) Upon receiving a certified record, from the clerk of the court, of proceedings in which a person pleaded guilty, entered a plea of nolo contendere, or was found guilty by a judge or jury, of any of the crimes enumerated in this section, the secretary shall forthwith revoke, for a period of one (1) year from the date of revocation, the operating privilege of any such person. . . . Cases requiring such certification follow:

(3) Conviction of any operator of a motor vehicle or tractor involved in an accident, resulting in injury or death to any person or damage to property, upon the charge of failing to stop and render assistance or disclose his identity at the scene of the accident.

The appellant appealed the revocation to the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, contending that a consideration of mitigating circumstances underlying the criminal conviction would indicate that the revocation was improper. The Court denied the appellant's appeal and sustained the order of the Department, concluding that it did not possess the power to independently review the merits of the revocation or the criminal conviction upon which it was founded. This appeal followed. The ...


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