Friday, November 15, 2013

Commonwealth v. Olshefski case brief

Commonwealth v. Olshefski case brief summary
64 Pa. D. & C. 343 (1948)

Defendant was before the court on an information for the violation of Pa. Vehicle Code of May 1, 1929, P. L. 905, for driving a truck that weighed more than the legal limit.

One of defendant's employees loaded a truck with coal and had it weighed. The truck was within the legal limit and he left the weigh slip in the truck's cab. The next day defendant was stopped by the police and ordered to a weigh station where the truck weighed over the legal limit and an information for his violation of Pa. Vehicle Code of May 1, 1929, P. L. 905 was lodged. Defendant argued that a licensed weighmaster did not weigh the truck after he was pulled over and he had in his possession a weigh bill by a duly licensed weighmaster, which he relied upon.

The court found defendant guilty.
First, the court found that the Vehicle Code did not require the truck to have been weighed by a licensed weighmaster, but that a peace officer could weigh the truck as was done here.
The court stated that the fact that defendant did not intend to break the law and actually believed he was within the law was irrelevant.
The court held that regardless of what it thought about the prosecution or the wisdom of an act, the state legislature had the absolute authority, within constitutional limits, to enact laws and the courts must enforce them.

The court adjudged defendant guilty, and sentenced him to pay the costs of prosecution, a fine of $ 25 to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and in default of payment thereof, imprisonment in the county jail for an indeterminate period of not less than one day nor more than two days.

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