Topic: Recidivist Sentencing Laws
Summary: In Commonwealth v. Ede, 949 A.2d 926 (Pa. Super. 2008), Ede was twice convicted of fleeing or eluding from law enforcement. However, Ede committed the second fleeing or eluding before he was convicted of the first. The Superior Court concluded that a recidivist sentencing statute (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 6503, which subjects defendants to an enhanced sentence for a second or subsequent offense) applied. In a summary disposition, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Superior Court.
Conclusion: Unless the statute specifically states otherwise, a recidivist sentencing statute applies only to offenses that take place after the defendant is convicted (enters a guilty plea or is found guilty) of the prior offense.