Commonwealth v. Giliam

Following a Daisey Kates hearing, the lower court revoked Giliam’s probation and imposed sentence for committing new crimes. Giliam appealed, and the Superior Court vacated the sentence.

On July 11, 2016, Giliam pleaded guilty to terroristic threats and was sentenced to three years of probation. The charge stemmed from an incident in which Giliam threatened a woman. On July 17, 2016, Giliam was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, and resisting arrest. On August 29, 2016, after the Daisey Kates VOP hearing, the VOP court found Giliam committed crimes while on the court’s probation, revoked the probation, and re-sentenced him to two and one half to five years of incarceration. Giliam appealed.

While the appeal of the VOP sentence was pending, a different judge acquitted Giliam of the charges in connection with the incident on July 17, 2016. In light of the acquittal, Giliam argued that the Superior Court should vacate the probation violation and sentence. The Court agreed and held that, because Giliam’s violation of probation was based solely on allegations of new criminal charges for which he was later acquitted, no violation of probation occurred. Consequently, Giliam’s probation revocation sentence was void.

The Court noted, “The instant case exemplifies why, as a practical matter, the appellate courts have cautioned against proceeding with a probation violation hearing before the trial on new charges where, as here, the new charges are the sole basis for the alleged probation violation.”