Commonwealth v. Diaz, 358 EDA 2022

CourtSuperior Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtLAZARUS, J.
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA v. JOEL DIAZ Appellant
Docket Number358 EDA 2022,J-A21015-22
Decision Date16 September 2022

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.

JOEL DIAZ Appellant

No. 358 EDA 2022

No. J-A21015-22

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

September 16, 2022


NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION - SEE SUPERIOR COURT I.O.P. 65.37

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence Entered December 14, 2021 In the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-46-CR-0003153-2017

BEFORE: LAZARUS, J., MURRAY, J., and McCAFFERY, J.

MEMORANDUM

LAZARUS, J.

Joel Diaz appeals from the judgment of sentence, imposed in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, after he pled guilty to one count of carrying a firearm without a license.[1] On appeal, Diaz challenges the trial court's denial of his pre-sentence motion to withdraw his guilty plea. After review, we affirm.

The trial court has set forth the factual and procedural history of this matter as follows:

While some facts are disputed, the following is the general underlying factual background of the charge which ultimately led to [Diaz]'s proffered open guilty plea of January 5 2018. On April 18, 2017, [] Diaz, was stopped by Sergeant Shane LaRosa of the Abington Police Department based on probable cause that the vehicle was being operated with a suspended registration via registration check through PennDOT/NCIC. Sergeant LaRosa proceeded to stop the vehicle and question [] Diaz regarding his
1
travel. [Diaz] claimed that he did not have his license on him at the time, but provided Sergeant LaRosa with his date of birth and a bank card with his name. Sergeant LaRosa performed a check of [Diaz]'s information, which revealed a suspended license as well as a "hit" for an active arrest warrant in Philadelphia entered on April 12 2017, involving aggravated assault with a firearm. Sergeant LaRosa placed [Diaz] in handcuffs in his vehicle until he could receive confirmation on the arrest warrant; however, at this time Sergeant LaRosa sought [Diaz]'s consent to search the vehicle for only the firearm as [Diaz] was reportedly "armed and dangerous." After being informed that he was able to deny Sergeant LaRosa's request[, Diaz] gave written and verbal consent as to the search for the firearm. Sergeant LaRosa discovered the firearm in the vehicle and [Diaz] was taken into custody and on July 12, 2017[,] bills of information were filed charging [Diaz] with two firearms offenses. . . .[]
[Diaz] was ordered to stand trial [on] January 12, 2018 [Diaz] filed omnibus pre-trial motions. On January 5, 2018, [Diaz] filed a motion to suppress via his counsel at that time. The hearing on the motion to suppress was scheduled for January 11, 2018; however, [Diaz] ultimately withdrew this motion and, on that same date, pled guilty to one count of carrying a firearm without a license, with sentencing to be deferred pending pre[-]sentence investigation, mental evaluation[,] and completion of a probation and parole intervention evaluation. Prior to entering the guilty plea, on December 19, 2017, the Commonwealth sought to increase or revoke bail as a result of a December 5, 2017[,] robbery charge in Philadelphia; however, the motion [] was ultimately deemed moot by the court, as a result of the guilty plea. [Diaz]was scheduled for sentencing on April 5, 2018; however, he never appeared, and a bench warrant was issued. Three years later, [Diaz] was apprehended on warrant for his failure to appear for his April 5, 2018[,] sentencing.
On March 4, 2021, [Diaz]'s bail was revoked and on May 28, 2021[, Diaz] filed a pre[-]sentence motion to withdraw his guilty plea[,] which was heard on June 7, 2021, and denied on the same date.
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