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Commonwealth v. Roberson

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

May 22, 2013

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee
v.
ALEXANDRIA M.H. ROBERSON, Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence entered August 28, 2012, in the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County, Criminal Division, at No(s): CP-21-SA-0000119-2012

BEFORE: PANELLA, ALLEN, and COLVILLE [*] , JJ.

MEMORANDUM

ALLEN, J.

Alexandria M.H. Roberson ("Appellant") appeals from the judgment of sentence imposed after the trial court found her guilty of driving while her operating privilege was suspended.[1]

Our review of the record reveals that Appellant filed a summary appeal to her magisterial district conviction. A hearing convened before the trial court on August 28, 2012. Carlisle Borough Police Officer Mark Brewbaker testified that on March 2, 2012, he conducted a vehicle stop based on the vehicle having illegally tinted windows. N.T., 8/28/12, at 5. Appellant was driving the vehicle with the tinted windows. Id. at 6. Appellant was "unable to provide a driver's license", and upon contacting dispatch, Officer Brewbaker learned that Appellant's license was suspended. Id. Officer Brewbaker verified the suspension with PennDOT, and cited Appellant for driving with a suspended license. Id. When asked by Officer Brewbaker, Appellant responded that "yes", she knew her license was suspended. Id. at 8-9, 11. The Commonwealth entered Appellant's certified driving record into evidence as Exhibit 1. Id. at 7-8, 12.

Appellant admitted she was driving on March 2, 2012, when Officer Brewbaker conducted the vehicle stop. Id. at 13, 17. Appellant additionally testified that she had not had a valid driver's license since December 14, 2006. Id. at 15, 17. Appellant expressly testified that she did not think she had a driver's license when Officer Brewbaker stopped her on March 2, 2012. Id. at 17. Appellant admitted that she had prior stops for driving under suspension, and "received notice for all of those prior suspensions." Id. at 18.

Based on the foregoing evidence, the trial court convicted Appellant of driving with a suspended license. Appellant appealed, and both she and the trial court have complied with Pa.R.A.P. 1925. Appellant presents the following issue for our review:

I. WAS THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED AT TRIAL INSUFFICIENT AS A MATTER OF LAW WHEN NOTICE WAS NOT ESTABLISHED FOR EITHER 1) THE DRIVING UNDER SUSPENSION CHARGE, OR 2) THE ENHANCED PENALTY GIVEN THEREFROM?

Appellant's Brief at 5.

Our scope of review in a driver's license suspension case is limited to determining whether the trial court's findings are supported by competent evidence in the record, whether the trial court committed an error of law, and whether the court's decision is a manifest abuse of discretion. Com. v. Herb, 852 A.2d 356 (Pa. Super. 2004). When examining a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, our standard of review is as follows:

The standard we apply in reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence is whether viewing all the evidence admitted at trial in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, there is sufficient evidence to enable the fact-finder to find every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In applying [the above] test, we may not weigh the evidence and substitute our judgment for the fact-finder. In addition, we note that the facts and circumstances established by the Commonwealth need not preclude every possibility of innocence. Any doubts regarding a defendant's guilt may be resolved by the fact-finder unless the evidence is so weak and inconclusive that as a matter of law no probability of fact may be drawn from the combined circumstances. The Commonwealth may sustain its burden of proving every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt by means of wholly circumstantial evidence. Moreover, in applying the above test, the entire record must be evaluated and all evidence actually received must be considered. Finally, the [finder] of fact while passing upon the credibility of witnesses and the weight of the evidence produced, is free to believe all, part or none of the evidence.

Commonwealth v. Jones, 874 A.2d 108, 120 (Pa. Super. 2005).

In conjunction with the foregoing scope and standard of review, we have reviewed the certified record and found no merit to Appellant's claims of error. The Honorable Thomas A. Placey, sitting as the trial court judge, filed a comprehensive opinion, which we adopt and incorporate as our own. Judge Placey cogently analyzed Appellant's sufficiency arguments, such that further analysis and commentary would be redundant. We therefore adopt the trial court's November 30, 2012 opinion as our own, and affirm Appellant's judgment of sentence.

Judgment of sentence affirmed.

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