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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOSEPH S. BURSICK (11/17/88)

decided: November 17, 1988.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, BUREAU OF TRAFFIC SAFETY, APPELLANT
v.
JOSEPH S. BURSICK, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Joseph S. Bursick, No. S.A. 972 of 1987.

COUNSEL

Melissa K. Dively, Assistant Counsel, with her, Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Chief Counsel, and John L. Heaton, Chief Counsel, for appellant.

Mark A. Ciccarelli, with him, Thomas J. Schuchert, Thomas Schuchert & Associates, for appellee.

Judges Barry and Smith, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry. Judge Smith dissents. Judge MacPhail did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Barry

[ 121 Pa. Commw. Page 188]

The Department of Transportation (DOT) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which sustained the appeal of Joseph S. Bursick (licensee) from DOT's five year suspension of his operator's license pursuant to Section 1542 of the Vehicle Code (Code)*fn1 (habitual offender).

Section 1542 of the Code provides for the revocation of the operating privileges of a person who is found to be a habitual offender. The licensee was found to be a habitual offender on the basis of three convictions. The first was a conviction in 1982 for violating Section 3743*fn2 of the Code (leaving the scene of an accident involving damage to an attended vehicle). The second and third convictions were in 1986 for violations of Section 3731*fn3 of the Code (driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance). DOT revoked the licensee's operating privileges for a period of five years.

The licensee appealed DOT's revocation to the trial court which sustained the appeal concluding that DOT improperly considered the licensee's Section 3743 violation in determining his status as a habitual offender. We disagree and reverse the trial court.*fn4

The licensee's conviction for violation of Section 3743 occurred when he was fifteen years old. In support of the trial court's conclusion, the licensee argues that the consideration of his conviction of Section 3743

[ 121 Pa. Commw. Page 189]

    while a minor is impermissible under the Juvenile Act, 42 Pa. C.S. ยงยง 6301-6365.

Section 6354 of the Juvenile Act provides in pertinent part:

(b) The disposition of a child under this chapter may not be used against him in any proceeding in any court other than at a subsequent juvenile hearing, ...


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