Commonwealth v. Parson

While on probation, Parson was pulled over, arrested for possessing a gun, and charged. While a suppression motion pended, the VOP court conducted a Gagnon II hearing, overruling the defense and Commonwealth’s continuance requests. The court found him to be in technical violation of his probation for breaching the condition that he not own or possess any firearms, and the court deferred sentencing. Three months after he was found to be in violation of probation, the trial court granted Parson’s suppression motion. The VOP court ruled that its finding of a violation pre-dated the trial court’s suppression order and re-sentenced Parsons to one to five years’ incarceration. The crux of Parson’s claim on appeal was that the VOP court abused its discretion by sentencing him for his technical probation violation after the trial court granted a motion to suppress evidence in the new case. The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed, concluding that the VOP court erred by declining to consider Parson’s challenge to the probation violation in light of the trial court’s suppression ruling. Further, the Court reversed because it appeared that the VOP court relied, at least in part, on the evidence that was later suppressed.

PARSON