Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. KIMBERLY WRIGHT (01/26/87)

submitted: January 26, 1987.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
KIMBERLY WRIGHT, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of February 12, 1986 in the Court of Common Pleas of Franklin County, Criminal Division, at No. 45 of 1985.

COUNSEL

Deborah K. Hoff, Assistant Public Defender, Waynesboro, for appellant.

John F. Nelson, III, District Attorney, Chambersburg, for Com., appellee.

Beck, Kelly and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Hoffman

[ 362 Pa. Super. Page 466]

This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence for driving under the influence of alcohol. Appellant contends that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict, and (2) the trial court erred in denying appellant's motion to withdraw her waiver of the right to trial by jury. Because we find that appellant should have been allowed to withdraw her waiver of a jury trial, we reverse the judgment of sentence and order a new trial.

On November 26, 1984, appellant was arrested after an auto accident and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. On May 13, 1985 she waived her right to a trial by jury after a full colloquy by the trial court. On May 16, 1985, appellant appeared for trial and made a motion to withdraw her earlier waiver of her right to a jury trial. The trial court denied the motion. After a bench trial, appellant was convicted of the charge. Her timely post-verdict motions were denied, and she was sentenced to forty-eight hours to twenty-three months incarceration and a $400.00 fine. This appeal followed.

Appellant contends that the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict. Specifically, she argues that the Commonwealth did not prove that she had consumed alcohol prior to the time of the accident. We disagree. In reviewing whether the evidence was sufficient to support the verdict, we must first determine whether, accepting as true all of the evidence reviewed in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, together with all reasonable inferences therefrom, the trier of fact could have found that each element of the offense charged was supported by evidence and inferences sufficient in law to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Commonwealth v. Griscavage, 512 Pa. 540, 543, 517 A.2d 1256, 1258 (1986); Commonwealth v. Lovette, 498 Pa. 665, 669, 450 A.2d 975, 977 (1982), cert. denied subnom Pennsylvania v. Lovette, 459 U.S. 1178, 103 S.Ct. 830, 74 L.Ed.2d 1025 (1983). To establish that a defendant is guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt

[ 362 Pa. Super. Page 467]

    that he or she was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to a degree which rendered the person incapable of safe driving, or with the amount of alcohol by weight in the blood in excess of 0.10% or greater. 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3731(a)(1), (4). See also Commonwealth v. Slout, 288 Pa. Super. 471, 474 n. 4, 432 A.2d 609, 610 n. 4 (1981). Absent an abuse of discretion, it is within the province of the trier of fact to believe all, some, or none of the evidence. Commonwealth v. Eckert, 244 Pa. Super. 424, 429, 368 A.2d 794, 797 (1976).

Here, the arresting police officer testified that appellant admitted to drinking one-half of a bottle of wine prior to the accident. N.T. May 16, 1985 at 15. This admission was corroborated by another officer present during questioning. Id. at 66. Appellant and her boyfriend later testified that they had consumed the wine after the accident but before going to the hospital, id. at 86, 91, 99. However, we cannot hold that the trier of fact abused its discretion in resolving this conflict in favor of the Commonwealth. Commonwealth v. Griscavage, supra. Additionally, the officers testified that appellant smelled of alcohol at the time of questioning, N.T. May 16, 1985 at 8, 57, and that blood alcohol tests produced results above the proscribed level. N.T. May 16, 1986 at 57-58. We, therefore, find that the evidence was sufficient to support the verdict.

Appellant next contends that the trial court erred in denying her motion to withdraw her waiver of a jury trial. We agree. The right to a trial by jury for non-petty criminal offenses is a fundamental principle of American law. U.S. Const. amend. VI; Pa. Const. art. I, §§ 6, 9; Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145, 88 S.Ct. 1444, 20 L.Ed.2d 491 (1968); Commonwealth v. Boyd, 461 Pa. 17, 25 n. 5, 334 A.2d 610, 614 n. 5 (1975). A criminal defendant may waive his or her right to a jury trial provided that the waiver is knowing and voluntary. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.