Rule 410. Pleas, Plea Discussions, and Related Statements.
(a) Prohibited Uses. In a civil or criminal case, evidence of the following is not admissible against the defendant who made the plea or participated in the plea discussions:
(1) a guilty plea that was later withdrawn;
(2) a nolo contendere plea;
(3) a statement made in the course of any proceedings under Rules 311, 313, 409, 414, 424, 550 or 590 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, or a comparable rule or procedure of another state; or
(4) a statement made during plea discussions with an attorney for the prosecuting authority if the discussions did not result in a guilty plea or they resulted in a later withdrawn guilty plea.
(b) Exceptions. The court may admit a statement described in Rule 410(a)(3) or (4):
(1) in any proceeding in which another statement made during the same plea or plea discussions has been introduced, if in fairness the statements ought to be considered together; or
(2) in a criminal proceeding for perjury, false swearing or unsworn falsification to authorities, if the defendant made the statement under oath, on the record, and with counsel present.
Pa.R.E. 410(a)(3) differs from F.R.E. 410(a)(3) in that it refers to the Pennsylvania proceedings to which the paragraph applies rather than the federal proceedings.
Pa.R.E. 410 does not prohibit the use of a conviction that results from a plea of nolo contendere, as distinct from the plea itself, to impeach in a later proceeding (subject to Pa.R.E. 609) or to establish an element of a charge in a later administrative proceeding. See Commonwealth v. Snyder, 408 Pa. 253, 182 A.2d 495 (1962) (conviction based on nolo contendere plea could be used to impeach witness in later criminal proceeding); Eisenberg v. Commonwealth, Dept. of Public Welfare, 512 Pa. 181, 516 A.2d 333 (Pa. 1986) (conviction based on nolo contendere plea permitted to establish element of charge in administrative proceeding).
There is also a statute governing the admissibility of guilty pleas and pleas of nolo contendere in cases charging summary motor vehicle violations when offered in civil cases arising out of the same facts. See 42 Pa.C.S. § 6142 which provides:
(a) General Rule. A plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or a payment of the fine and costs prescribed after any such plea, in any summary proceeding made by any person charged with a violation of Title 75 (relating to vehicles) shall not be admissible as evidence in any civil matter arising out of the same violation or under the same facts or circumstances.
(b) Exception. The provisions of subsection (a) shall not be applicable to administrative or judicial proceedings involving the suspension of a motor vehicle or tractor operating privilege, learners permit, or right to apply for a motor vehicle or tractor operating privilege, or the suspension of a certificate of appointment as an official inspection station, or the suspension of a motor vehicle, tractor, or trailer registration.
Pa.R.E. 410(b)(1) is identical to F.R.E. 410(b)(1).
Pa.R.E. 410(b)(2) differs from F.R.E. 410(b)(2) in that false statement has been omitted and replaced with false swearing and unsworn falsification to authorities to correlate with acts defined in the Pennsylvania Crime Code. See 18 Pa.C.S. § § 4903, 4904.
Adopted May 8, 1998, effective October 1, 1998; Comment revised March 23, 1999, effective immediately; amended March 10, 2000, effective immediately; amended March 29, 2001, effective April 1, 2001; rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective March 18, 2013.
Committee Explanatory Reports:
Final Report explaining the March 23, 1999 technical revisions of the Comment published with the Courts Order at 29 Pa.B. 1714 (April 3, 1999).
Final Report explaining the March 10, 2000 technical amendments updating the rule published with the Courts Order at 30 Pa.B. 1641 (March 25, 2000).
Final Report explaining the March 29, 2001 amendments published with the Courts Order at 31 Pa.B. 1995 (April 14, 2001).
Final Report explaining the January 17, 2013 rescission and replacement published with the Courts Order at 43 Pa.B. 651 (February 2, 2013).
The provisions of this Rule 410 amended March 23, 1999, effective immediately, 29 Pa.B. 1712; amended March 10, 2000, effective immediately, 30 Pa.B. 1639; amended March 29, 2001, effective April 1, 2001, 31 Pa.B. 1993; rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective in sixty days, 43 Pa.B. 620. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (338882) and (276577).
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