Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of April 11, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County Criminal Division at No.: CP-15-CR-0003427-2012
BEFORE: GANTMAN, J., OLSON, J., and WECHT, J.
Jonathan Nelson ("Nelson") appeals from his April 11, 2013 judgment of sentence. Counsel for Nelson has filed a petition to withdraw as counsel and an "Anders/Santiago" brief. We grant counsel's petition to withdraw, and affirm.
The trial court provides the following factual and procedural history of the case:
Following a two day jury trial, on March 20, 2013, [Nelson] was found guilty of one count of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol to a degree that rendered him incapable of safe driving. 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3802(a)(1). The jury further found that [Nelson] had refused to give a sample of his blood for testing after having been advised of the consequences, as provided for in Pa. Form. DL-26. This was [Nelson's] third DUI conviction within 10 years. An individual who violates Section 3802(a)(1) where the individual refused testing of blood or breath and who has one or more prior offenses commits a misdemeanor of the first degree. 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3803(4). An individual who violates Section 3802(a)(1) and refused testing of blood or breath and is convicted of a third or subsequent offense within a 10 year period is subject to a mandatory minimum 1 year prison sentence. 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3804(c)(3); § 3806(b). In addition, [Nelson] was found guilty by the trial judge of two summary offenses, Driving Under Suspension/DUI Related, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1543(b)(1) and violation of Traffic and Control Signals, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3112(a)(3)(i) ([Nelson] drove through a steady red light). On April 11, 2013, following a lengthy sentencing proceeding, we sentenced [Nelson] to a term of imprisonment of 16-32 months for the DUI conviction and 60 days consecutive incarceration for the offense of driving while operating privilege is suspended. We applied the RRRI Minimum to both sentences and, as aggregated, [Nelson's] aggregate minimum sentence is 13.5 months.
[Nelson] has four prior convictions of driving under the influence, three within 10 years. At the time of the instant DUI, as a consequence of a prior DUI conviction, [Nelson's] operating privilege was under suspension through September 2014. In addition, [Nelson] has two prior convictions for driving while operating privilege is suspended DUI related and seven additional convictions for driving while his operating privilege was suspended, not DUI related. Added to this list are multiple other summary convictions under the Vehicle Code.
At sentencing, trial counsel asked the court to consider a County Intermediate Punishment sentence, which the Commonwealth opposed, and which we declined to do.
Trial Court Opinion ("T.C.O."), 6/27/2013, at 1-3 (emphasis in original; capitalization modified).
On April 16, 2013, Nelson filed a post-sentence motion that challenged his sentence. On May 20, 2013, the motion was denied. On May 30, 2013, Nelson filed a notice of appeal. On May 31, 2013, the trial court ordered Nelson to file a concise statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1925 (b). Nelson timely complied.
Counsel has filed an Anders/Santiago brief with this Court, in which counsel asserts that Nelson has no non-frivolous issues to pursue on appeal. Counsel also has filed a corresponding petition to withdraw as counsel. This Court first must pass upon counsel's petition to withdraw before reviewing the merits of the underlying issues presented by Nelson. Commonwealth v. Goodwin, 928 A.2d 287, 290 (Pa. Super. 2007) (en banc).
Prior to withdrawing as counsel on a direct appeal under Anders, counsel must file a brief that meets the requirements established by our ...