Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence entered April 5, 1988 in the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, Criminal Division, at No. 1948 of 1986.
David G. Ridge, Erie, for appellant.
Douglas J. Wright, Asst. Dist. Atty., Girard, for Com., appellee.
Wieand, Del Sole and Melinson, JJ.
[ 389 Pa. Super. Page 498]
Michael C. Alessi, Appellant, was convicted of driving while his operating privilege was suspended or revoked (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1543). He appeals raising two issues. We have determined that both issues are meritless and affirm the trial court's judgment of sentence.
On September 18, 1986, Alessi, while operating a motor vehicle, was stopped by a police officer. The officer ran a check on Alessi's operator's license and found it to be under suspension. The officer issued a citation which was filed with the District Justice on September 18, 1986. On September 23, 1986, the officer received formal verification of the license suspension from the Bureau of Motor vehicles, specifying the nature of the suspension. The District Justice issued the summons on October 23, 1986. Alessi moved to quash the citation as time-barred by the 30-day statute of limitations found in 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5553(a). The trial court denied this motion.
Alessi's first issue is whether the trial court erred in refusing to quash his citation because the proceedings were not commenced within thirty days from the date of the offense. 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5553(a) provides as follows:
[ 389 Pa. Super. Page 499]
of the offense or the identity of the offender, whichever is later, and not thereafter.
The real question here is what must be done to "commence" a proceeding for a Title 75 summary offense. In Commonwealth v. Larson, 299 Pa. Super. 252, 445 A.2d 550 (1982), this court determined that "[p]roper procedure would have been for . . . [the officer] to institute proceedings within 30 days of . . . [the] offense, and immediately apply to Harrisburg for a certified copy of appellant's operating record." 299 Pa. Super. at 255, n. 2, 445 A.2d 550. In the present case, the officer filed the citation with the District Justice, applied for Alessi's operating record and received formal notification of Alessi's license suspension within five days of the incident. Under Larson, the officer instituted proceedings well within the 30 day limit.
Pa.R.Cr.P. 60 gives this guidance:
When it is not feasible to issue the citation to the defendant or when evidence is discovered after the issuance of a citation that gives rise to additional summary charges against the defendant resulting from the same incident, a law enforcement officer shall institute a criminal ...