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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. MICHAEL L. SILVERMAN (04/18/88)

filed: April 18, 1988.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT
v.
MICHAEL L. SILVERMAN



Appeal from the Suppression Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Allegheny County at No. CC 8401033A.

COUNSEL

Robert L. Eberhardt, Deputy District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Com., appellant.

Michael J. Healey, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Rowley, McEwen and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Popovich

[ 373 Pa. Super. Page 275]

This is an appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Criminal Division, entered April 12, 1985, granting the appellee's, Michael L. Silverman's, motion to suppress evidence. We reverse.

On or about January 11, 1984, appellee was charged with one (1) count of receiving stolen property (18 Pa.C.S.A. ยง 3925). The charge was filed as the result of a search of appellee's apartment on January 11, 1984. The search was conducted pursuant to a search warrant issued on that day by District Justice Raymond L. Casper.

[ 373 Pa. Super. Page 276]

On July 10, 1984, appellee, through his trial counsel, filed a motion to suppress evidence, alleging that the search warrant in question lacked probable cause. On February 13, 1985, an evidentiary hearing was held, and appellee's motion was granted on April 12, 1985.

On April 25, 1985, the Commonwealth filed a notice of appeal and petitioned the lower court to extend the time for trial in view of the pending appeal.

The Commonwealth presents one issue for our review on appeal: whether the lower court erred in granting the appellee's motion to suppress evidence seized pursuant to a warrant as the totality of circumstances presented to the issuing magistrate would support a finding that probable cause existed for the issuance of the search warrant in question.

Before discussing the merits of the Commonwealth's claim, we must determine whether the Order appealed from in the instant case is final. In Commonwealth v. Dugger, 506 Pa. 537, 546-547, 486 A.2d 382, 386 (1985), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held:

[T]he Commonwealth's appeal of a suppression order is proper as an appeal from a final order when the Commonwealth certifies in good faith that the suppression order terminates or substantially handicaps its prosecution.

Since the record shows that the certification requirement has been satisfied in the case at bar, we hold that the Commonwealth has an absolute right of appeal to this Court to test the validity of a pre-trial suppression order. Id.

In Commonwealth v. Hubble, 509 Pa. 497, 503, 504 A.2d 168, 171 (1986), the Court identified the appropriate standards of appellate review of suppression court's rulings:

On review, our responsibility is 'to determine whether the record supports the factual findings of the court below and the legitimacy of the inferences and legal conclusions drawn from those findings.' Commonwealth ...


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