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Appeal Brief

Judge Watson's Opinion
State Concedes Case



July 2, 1997

Eleanor Valecko
Deputy Prothonotary
Superior Court of Pennsylvania
1015 Grant Building
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219

Re: Commonwealth v. Janos Dohanics
406 Pittsburgh 1997

Dear Ms. Valecko,

The Commonwealth agrees with appellant's position that his conviction
cannot stand. The Commonwealth submits this letter to your Honorable Court
in lieu of a brief in the above captioned matter.

Appellant was charged with violating 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3362(a) (1). The police
charged appellant with driving 66 mph in a 35 mph zone. The District
Justice convicted appellant, and appellant appealed to the Court of Common
Pleas. The court once again convicted appellant and this appeal followed.

At the trial de novo, the officer testified that according to the Vascar
Plus device, appellant was travelling 66 mph. Appellant called Andrew
Tepper who testified that according to his calculations appellant was
driving approximately 44 mph (TT 14). The court found appellant guilty of
driving 43 mph (TT 18)

Appellant correctly cites to 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3368(c) (4) which states in
pertinent part that " person may be convicted upon evidence obtained
through use of devices authorized by paragraph (3) in an area where the
legal speed limit is less than 55 miles per hour if the speed recorded is
less than ten miles per hour in excess of the legal speed limit."
Appellant also correctly notes that the Vascar-Plus device is a paragraph
3 device.

If there was nothing else of record other than the conflicting testimony,
the Commonwealth would be arguing that the court simply decided to accept
the officer's version over Mr. Tepper's testimony. Appellant is correct,
however, in arguing that the court accepted Mr. Tepper's testimony. The
court wrote in its opinion, "[w]e accepted the testimony of Defendant's
witness and agree that defendant was travelling some eight miles per hour
in excess of the posted limit rather than the figure put forth by the

In light of the court 's statement, the Commonwealth is constrained to
agree with appellant's position. Under 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3368(c) (4),
appellant would have to have been driving at least 45 mph for his
conviction to stand.

                                   Respectfully Submitted,

                                   ROBERT E. COLVILLE
                                   DISTRICT ATTORNEY


William F. Askin, Esquire
1047 McKinney Lane
Pittsburgh, PA 15220


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