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Commonwealth v. Hoover

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

May 19, 2020

In Commonwealth v. Hoover, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court considered whether the trial court erred by vacating, pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 5505 (“Modification of orders”), a prior order granting a petition for early termination of a sentence of intermediate punishment based on the court’s discovery that the defendant committed a new offense shortly after the early termination order was entered.

In 2013, the defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of DUI and was sentenced to five years of county intermediate punishment. In 2017, the trial court granted the defendant’s motion for early termination of his sentence. Later that day, the defendant was arrested for DUI. Three weeks later, the court conducted a hearing and vacated its order granting the petition for early termination of his sentence of county intermediate punishment.

The Court ruled that the trial court violated the defendant’s due process rights because there was no evidence that the trial court conditioned its grant of the petition for early termination of the sentence of county intermediate punishment on future conduct. The Court held hold that a trial court may not vacate a prior order terminating a sentence of intermediate punishment or probation based on subsequent conduct unless that conduct constitutes a violation of specified conditions of the termination order, of which the individual had notice.

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