Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Declines to Hear Schildt

Filed under: DUI by Contributor @ March 4, 2014

On February 25, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania denied allowance of appeal in Commonwealth v. Schildt, the Dauphin County DUI case where The Honorable Lawrence Clark after a habeas corpus petition barred breath test results from being used at trial. This Order was later overturned by the Superior Court on the grounds that Judge Clark’s ruling was premature. Criminal defense attorneys across the state were hoping that the Supreme Court would hear the breathalyzer issue in Schildt on the merits, but for now that is not happening. The case will proceed to trial and Schildt will again argue the invalidity of the test results and that the Commonwealth cannot meet its burden of proof (click here for a summary of the argument). This sets back the resolution of the issue of whether the manner of calibrating breathalyzers might result in suppression by many years, as the issue will now have to repeat the process of being appealed to the Superior Court and then the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in order to get binding resolution from the state’s highest Court. As always, we will provide updates as the case progresses.

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