Sentence • Abuse of Discretion • Plea Bargain

Commonwealth v. Slegel, PICS Case No. 14-0184 (C.P. Lehigh Dec. 5, 2013) Steinberg, J. (8 pages).

Slegel entered guilty pleas to theft and resisting arrest after stealing a vehicle and scuffling with officers when they arrested him. The plea agreement required the charges to run concurrently, that the minimum sentence would not exceed 15 months and that the commonwealth had no objection to Slegel’s placement in TCAP, but that was not a binding part of the plea agreement. At sentencing, the court found Slegel ineligible for the TCAP program, but otherwise sentenced him in accordance with the plea agreement. Slegel filed a notice of appeal alleging that the court failed to consider his need for drug treatment and failed to give reasons for denying his request for treatment in the county prison. Sentence affirmed.

Slegel was released from state prison in New Jersey on May 13, 2013 and arrested for these charges on May 22, 2013. His prior record dates to 1987 with multiple convictions for burglary and theft related offenses. He also had a history of substance abuse and the presentence report showed that he absconded from his last treatment program. He was found ineligible for TCAP due to a questionable residence.

Slegel received a sentence at the low end of the standard range of the guidelines. He had a substantial criminal history justifying his placement in a state correctional institution and his prior correctional experiences had not deterred his criminal conduct. Additionally, the presentence report reinforced Slegel’s repeated criminal conduct and his fascination with other people’s motor vehicles.

Slegel’s sentence was proper because he had only recently been released from prison, and the sentence was consistent with protection of the public and the gravity of the offense. The court did not abuse its discretion.