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12/15/97 COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. EDWARD ALLEN

December 15, 1997

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE
v.
EDWARD ALLEN YEREB, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Mercer County, Criminal Division, at No. 1269 S.A. 1996. Before STRANAHAN, J.

Before: Kelly, Hudock and Brosky, JJ. Opinion BY Hudock, J.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hudock

OPINION BY HUDOCK, J.:

FILED DECEMBER 15, 1997

This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence following a non-jury trial in which Edward Allen Yereb (Appellant) was found guilty of driving while under suspension, driving under the influence (DUI) related. *fn1 Appellant was sentenced to ninety days imprisonment and assessed a $1,000.00 fine. We affirm.

The facts and procedural history of this case can be summarized as follows: Sometime before Monday, May 13, 1996, an unnamed informant complained to the Chief of Police of the Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Department that Appellant had been driving while his license was suspended. Before acting on this tip, someone in the department checked the information in the computer. After verifying that the driver's license was suspended, the chief gave this information, including a description of the vehicle, its plate number and Appellant's description, to Officer Jon Christopher Rococi (Officer Rococi).

While on traffic patrol within his jurisdiction, Officer Rococi noticed Appellant driving a vehicle which fit the description his chief had given to him and proceeded to stop the vehicle. During the stop, Appellant produced registration and insurance cards, but failed to produce a driver's license. At that point, Officer Rococi once again verified that Appellant's license had been suspended. Therefore, Officer Rococi issued a citation under section 1543(b) of the Vehicle Code for driving while under suspension, DUI related.

Appellant first appeared before a district Justice, where he was convicted. He then appealed to the Court of Common Pleas. There, he was again convicted after the validity of the traffic stop was upheld. This timely appeal followed.

As a preliminary matter, we note Appellant's non-compliance with our rules of appellate procedure. Appellant has not provided us with a "Statement of the Scope and Standard of Review," as required by Pa.R.A.P. 3518, 42 Pa.C.S.A. While not fatal to Appellant's appeal, this omission weakens the strength of his brief and makes this Court's review more difficult.

Appellant presents two questions for our review:

I. WHETHER THE CONVICTION OF THE DEFENDANT FOR A VIOLATION OF 75 PA.C.S.A. 1543(b) [sic], DRIVING DURING SUSPENSION DUI RELATED, CAN BE SUSTAINED BASED UPON THE RECORD WHEN THE FACTS INDICATE APPELLANT'S DRIVING PRIVILEGES WERE UNDER SUSPENSION AS A HABITUAL OFFENDER AND NOT DUI RELATED?

II. WHETHER THE STOP OF THE VEHICLE OPERATED BY THE APPELLANT WAS VALID?

Appellant's Brief at 3.

Our scope of review of a trial de novo is limited to a determination of whether the trial court's findings of fact are supported by competent evidence and/or whether an error of law was committed. Absent a manifest abuse of discretion, we shall not disturb the findings of the trial ...


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