from the PCRA Order Entered July 10, 2019 In the Court of
Common Pleas of Lackawanna County Criminal Division at No(s):
BEFORE: OLSON, J., DUBOW, J., and STEVENS, P.J.E.
Dajuan Saunders, appeals from the order entered in the Court
of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County denying his first
petition filed pursuant to the Post Conviction Relief Act
("PCRA"), 42 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 9541-46,
following an evidentiary hearing. After a careful review, we
relevant facts and procedural history are as follows: On
November 20, 2010, police stopped Appellant's vehicle in
Lackawanna County, and at lower court docket number 2011 CR
1456, he was charged with offenses related to driving while
under the influence of alcohol ("DUI")-highest rate
of alcohol, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3802(c). Appellant pled
guilty to the offense, and since it was his second offense,
he was sentenced to one year to five years in prison.
Appellant served time in prison on this conviction from July
11, 2011, until November 26, 2012, at which time he was
placed on probation. N.T., 6/25/18, at 2.
on probation with regard to 2011 CR 1456, Appellant was
arrested, convicted, and sentenced with regard to an
aggravated assault he committed in Monroe County. This
triggered a probation revocation hearing with regard to 2011
CR 1456, and following the revocation of his probation at
2011 CR 1456, Appellant served time in prison from March 23,
2013, until March 22, 2016. Id. at 3. Appellant
averred 11½ months of this time was credited towards
his Monroe County sentence while the remaining 24½
months was credited towards his probation revocation sentence
for 2011 CR 1456. Id. at 3-4.
Appellant filed a petition for writ of habeas
corpus in the federal court with regard to his
conviction at 2011 CR 1456, and on February 12, 2016, the
United States District Court for the Middle District of
Pennsylvania vacated the conviction. See Saunders v.
Asure, No. 13-CV-3056, 2016 WL 561947 (M.D. Pa. Feb. 12,
2016). Appellant was subsequently released from prison.
February 9, 2017, in the instant matter, Appellant was
arrested in Lackawanna County while in possession of a
plastic bag containing heroin, and he was charged with
various offenses, which were docketed at lower court number
2017 CR 420. On September 29, 2017, Appellant, who was
represented by counsel, entered a guilty plea to one count of
possession with the intent to deliver ("PWID"), 35
P.S. § 780-113(a)(30), and one count of criminal use of
a communication facility, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 7512(a).
December 8, 2017, following a hearing, Appellant was
sentenced to two years to four years in prison for PWID, as
well as a consecutive one year of probation for criminal use
of a communication facility. The sentences were to commence
on December 8, 2017, and the trial court indicated Appellant
was boot camp eligible as long as he met all of the other
requirements. The trial court gave Appellant 142 days of
credit for time he served pretrial from February 20, 2017, to
July 1, 2017, with regard to the instant offenses. Despite
being provided with his post-sentence and appeal rights,
Appellant filed neither a post-sentence motion nor a direct
February 21, 2018, Appellant filed a timely, pro se
PCRA petition, and counsel was appointed to assist him.
Appellant filed an amended PCRA petition alleging that with
respect to the instant case (2017 CR 420) he should be given
credit for time served in the unrelated DUI criminal case
(2011 CR 1456) since the latter conviction was vacated by the
federal court. Specifically, Appellant requested that, with
regard to his conviction at 2017 CR 420, the PCRA court give
him credit of 41 months for time he served with regard to the
vacated sentence at 2011 CR 1456. Id. at 4-5.
25, 2018, the matter proceeded to a PCRA evidentiary hearing.
At the hearing, Appellant argued that he has 41 months of
time that he served on a now-vacated sentence and, therefore,
the state "owes him [this] time." Id. at
5. In response, the Commonwealth argued that Appellant might
have a civil remedy for the time he served with regard to
2011 CR 1456; however, the prison time was not to be
"banked" for future use against subsequent crimes.
Id. at 8.
order entered on July 10, 2019, the PCRA court denied
Appellant's PCRA petition, and on July 31, 2019, this
timely, counseled appeal followed. All Pa.R.A.P. 1925
requirements have been met.
appeal, Appellant presents the following sole issue in his
"Statement of the Questions Involved" (verbatim):
I. Did the trial court commit an error of law and/or abuse
its discretion in failing to apply the Defendant's credit
for time served under 11 CR 1456 to ...