Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of August 7, 1986 in the County of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Criminal Division, at No. 8510537A.
Shelley Stark, Assistant Public Defender, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Robert L. Eberhardt, Deputy District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Com.
Wieand, Olszewski and Hoffman, JJ. Wieand, J., files a concurring statement.
[ 366 Pa. Super. Page 519]
This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence for violations of the Controlled Substance Drug, Device & Cosmetic Act, 35 P.S. §§ 780-101 to -141.1. Appellant contends that his guilty plea counsel was ineffective for failing to file a motion to withdraw his guilty plea and his post-verdict motions counsel was ineffective for failing to allege that his guilty plea colloquy was defective. He also contends that his sentence is inappropriate. For the reasons
[ 366 Pa. Super. Page 520]
that follow, we vacate the judgment of sentence and remand for further proceedings.
Appellant, represented by a member of the Public Defender's Office in Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, two counts of the sale and delivery of a controlled substance, and two counts of simple possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to a term of five-to-fifteen-years imprisonment. Represented by another member of the Public Defender's Office, appellant filed a motion to modify his sentence. He then filed a pro se supplement to the motion to modify sentence, which included a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Following a hearing, these motions were denied. New counsel, again a member of the Public Defender's Office, was appointed, and this appeal followed.
Appellant first contends that his guilty plea colloquy was defective because he was not informed of the range of possible sentences he could receive and that his former counsel were ineffective for failing to raise and preserve this issue for appeal.
When confronted with a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, a reviewing court must first ascertain whether the issue underlying the charge of ineffectiveness is of arguable merit and, if so, it must be determined whether the course chosen by counsel had some reasonable basis designed to serve the interests of his client.
Commonwealth v. Buehl, 510 Pa. 363, 378, 508 A.2d 1167, 1174 (1986). Moreover, the petitioner must demonstrate how the ineffectiveness worked to his or her prejudice. Commonwealth v. Pierce, 515 Pa. 153, 159, 527 A.2d 973, 976 (1987) (adopting standard of Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984) as standard for prejudice).
We note that here, appellant's guilty plea counsel, post-verdict motions counsel and counsel for this appeal are each members of the same Public Defender's Office. Generally, a ...