John W. Packel, Assistant Public Defender, and Benjamin Lerner, Defender, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Steven H. Goldblatt and Deborah E. Glass, Assistant District Attorneys, and F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Van der Voort, J., joins in this opinion. Cercone, J., files a concurring opinion, in which Van der Voort, J., joins. Spaeth, J., files a dissenting opinion in which Hoffman, J., joins. Watkins, former President Judge, did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.
[ 254 Pa. Super. Page 204]
This appeal is taken from the lower court's order revoking probation. Appellant contends that he was not provided with a timely written notice of the alleged violations prior to the revocation hearing and that he was deprived of the right to a speedy revocation hearing. We agree with the former claim but disagree with the latter. The case must therefore be remanded for a second revocation hearing.*fn1
In August of 1973, appellant was sentenced for aggravated robbery to a four year term of probation conditioned on
[ 254 Pa. Super. Page 205]
the attendance of an eighteen to twenty-four month in-patient drug treatment program. He was also sentenced to a consecutive four year term of probation for burglary.*fn2
Appellant allegedly absconded from the in-patient program at Gaudenzia House on August 5, 1974. In January of 1975, appellant was arrested for theft of services, and in February, he was again arrested and charged with robbery, conspiracy and several other related offenses.
A probation revocation hearing was scheduled for April 1, 1975, but it was continued pending disposition of the outstanding criminal charges. After a Municipal Court trial on April 25, 1975, appellant was found guilty of attempted theft of services arising out of the January, 1975, incident. This conviction was appealed to the Court of Common Pleas for a trial de novo. On May 27, 1975, appellant was convicted of robbery and conspiracy. Sentencing was continued until June 27, 1975, pending receipt by the lower court of a pre-sentence report.
A probation revocation hearing was again scheduled for June 17, 1975. On that date, appellant's counsel appeared and requested a continuance pending a final disposition of
[ 254 Pa. Super. Page 206]
all open cases.*fn3 Appellant withdrew his appeal for a trial de novo on June 24, 1975. He was sentenced, on August 4, 1975, to eleven and one-half to twenty-three months imprisonment for robbery and to ...