Criminal Attempt • Driver’s License Suspension

Rawson v. Commonwealth Dep’t of Transp. PICS Case No. 14-0480 (C.P. Chester Jan. 29, 2014) Tunnell, J. (6 pages).

Mandatory license suspension under the Vehicle Code at 75 Pa. C.S. §1532(c) was proper because petitioner’s conviction for criminal attempt of possession of a controlled substance was a conviction “involving” the possession, sale or delivery of a controlled substance. Appeal denied and suspension reinstated.

A package containing marijuana addressed to petitioner was intercepted by a state trooper before being delivered to petitioner. Petitioner pleaded guilty to criminal attempt but a clerk mistakenly sent a report of conviction to DOT, stating that petitioner had been convicted of possessing a controlled substance. Petitioner was then notified that his driving privilege was suspended. Petitioner notified DOT of the error and a certified copy of the record of his conviction was submitted to DOT but DOT refused to rescind the suspension. Petitioner then appealed his suspension arguing that criminal attempt did not fall under the suspension provisions of §1532(c).

The court agreed with DOT that an attempt to possess a controlled substance fell within the phrase “any offense involving” in §1532(c). The court cited several cases in which manufacturing and conspiracy to possess involved the crime of actual possession of a controlled substance. Also, the court reasoned that since conspiracy was a crime of the same grade and degree as the crime that was the object of the conspiracy, then criminal attempt to possess was of the same grade and degree as the crime of possession and the mandatory license suspension was properly triggered.