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JAMES MICHAEL ZANOTTO v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/06/84)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: June 6, 1984.

JAMES MICHAEL ZANOTTO, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, APPELLEE

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. James Michael Zanotto, No. 118 S 1983.

COUNSEL

Anthony S. Federico, Jr., for appellant.

Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Counsel, with him, Spencer A. Manthorpe, Chief Counsel, and Jay C. Waldman, General Counsel, for appellee.

Judges Rogers, Craig and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 70]

James Zanotto appeals from an order by the Dauphin County Common Pleas Court, which affirmed the Department of Transportation's five-year revocation of his driver's license under section 1542, the habitual offender provision, of the Motor Vehicle Code.*fn1

We have been asked to decide if the habitual offender provision violates due process and the double jeopardy clause*fn2 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

The record reveals that Mr. Zanotto committed the following offenses and suffered the following consequences under the Code:

Code Date of Date of DOT Action

Violation Offense Conviction Taken

§ 3731 11-24-77 6-15-78 6-month suspension

*fn3

§ 3731 5-12-82 9-29-82 6-month suspension

*fn4

§ 3733 5-12-82 9-29-82 5-year revocation

*fn5

[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 71]

Mr. Zanotto contends that a de novo hearing in common pleas court does not satisfy due process, because at the time of his convictions, he was not informed of the ultimate consequences of multiple convictions, i.e., the triggering of the habitual offender provision. We have recently held, however, that a de novo hearing adequately safeguards the notice and hearing requirements of due process. Yeckley v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 81 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 576, A.2d (1984). Cf. Commonwealth v. Englert, Pa. Superior Ct. , 457 A.2d 121 (1983) (the suspension of operating privileges is a collateral consequence, civil in nature, of a conviction; a trial court's failure to inform a defendant of a potential collateral consequence does not invalidate a guilty plea).

Mr. Zanotto also contends that the habitual offender provision violates the double jeopardy clause. We cannot agree. Driver suspension and revocation proceedings are remedial sanctions which are civil in nature, designed to protect the public from unsafe drivers; as such, they cannot be grounds for a double jeopardy challenge. See Callan v. Bureau of Traffic Safety, 19 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 635, 637-38, 339 A.2d 163, 164-65 (1975); Commonwealth v. Abraham, 7 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 535, 536-37, 300 A.2d 831, 832 (1973); See also, In Re Friedman, 72 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 274, 281 n.10, 457 A.2d 983, 987 n.10 (1983) (double jeopardy challenge to revocation of occupational license after criminal conviction).

Accordingly, we affirm.

Order

Now, June 6, 1984, the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, dated May 10, 1983, dismissing the appeal of James Zanotto, is affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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