PART A. Instituting Proceedings


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Rule 400. Means of Instituting Proceedings In Summary Cases.

 Criminal proceedings in summary cases shall be instituted either by:

   (1)  issuing a citation to the defendant; or

   (2)  filing a citation; or

   (3)  filing a complaint; or

   (4)  arresting without a warrant when arrest is specifically authorized by law.

Comment

   This rule establishes the means of instituting criminal proceedings in summary cases. For general citation procedures, see Chapter 4 Part B, Rules 402 and 403.

   For the procedures when a citation is issued to a defendant pursuant to paragraph (1) of this rule, see Chapter 4 Part B(1), Rules 405, 406, 407, 408, and 409.

   Electronically transmitting the citation information or parking ticket information to the issuing authority would institute proceedings by filing pursuant to paragraph (2) of this rule.

   For the procedures when a citation is filed pursuant to paragraph (2), see Chapter 4 Part B(2), Rules 410, 411, 412, 413, and 414.

   For the procedures when a complaint is filed pursuant to paragraph (3), see Chapter 4 Part C, Rules 420, 421, 422, 423, and 424.

   For the procedures when there is an arrest without a warrant pursuant to paragraph (4) see Chapter 4 Part D(2), Rules 440 and 441.

   For the procedures regarding the use of arrest warrants in summary cases, see Chapter 4 Part D(1), Rules 430 and 431.

   For general procedures applicable in all summary cases, see Chapter 4 Part E, Rules 451, 452, 453, 454, 455, 456, 457, and 458.

   For the procedures for appealing to the court of common pleas for a trial de novo, see Chapter 4 Part F, Rules 460, 461, and 462.

   For the procedures in summary cases charging parking violations, see Chapter 4 Part A, Rule 401. Although a criminal proceeding may be instituted in these cases by issuing a citation either by handing it to a defendant or placing it on a vehicle windshield, it is expected that many parking cases will be disposed of without a criminal proceeding under these rules. A parking ticket, which is not a citation, is used by a political subdivision and the defendant pays the amount specified on the ticket within the time specified.

   Summary cases are cases in which all the offenses charged are either summary offenses, as defined in the Crimes Code, 18 Pa.C.S. §  106(c), or violations of ordinances for which imprisonment may be imposed upon conviction or upon failure to pay a fine or penalty. See Rule 103. Criminal proceedings in summary cases are to be brought under this chapter of the rules. If one or more of the offenses charged is a misdemeanor, felony, or murder, the case is a court case (see Rule 103) and proceeds under Chapter 5 of the rules. Ordinarily, any summary offenses in such a case, if known at the time, must be charged in the same complaint as the higher offenses and must be disposed of as part of the court case. See Commonwealth v. Campana, 455 Pa. 622, 304 A.2d 432 (1973), vacated and remanded, 414 U.S. 808 (1973), on remand, 454 Pa. 233, 314 A.2d 854 (1974) (compulsory joinder rule) and Crimes Code §  110, 18 Pa.C.S. §  110. See also Commonwealth v. Caufman, 541 Pa. 299, 662 A.2d 1050 (1995).

   In judicial districts in which there is a traffic court established pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § §  1301—1342, when a summary motor vehicle offense within the jurisdiction of the traffic court arises in the same criminal episode as another summary offense or a misdemeanor, felony, or murder offense, see 42 Pa.C.S. §  1302 and Commonwealth v. Masterson, 275 Pa. Super. 166, 418 A.2d 664 (1980).

   The summary case rules are not intended to prohibit or to suspend any acknowledgment of guilt procedures that may be specifically authorized by statute. See, e.g., Section 926 of the Game and Wildlife Code, 34 Pa.C.S. §  926, and Section 925 of the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. §  925. Furthermore, the use of a field acknowledgment of guilt pursuant to 34 Pa.C.S. §  926 or 30 Pa.C.S. §  925 should not be construed as the issuance of a citation for the purpose of instituting a summary case under these rules. See Rules 405 and 410.

   The Rules of Criminal Procedure generally do not apply to juvenile proceedings. But see the Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure 105 (Search Warrants) and 396 (Bail). The Criminal Rules do apply to proceedings in summary cases involving defendants under 18 years of age to the extent that the Juvenile Act does not apply to such proceedings. See, e.g., Juvenile Act, 42 Pa.C.S. § §  6302, 6303, and 6326, Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S. §  6303. See also 42 Pa.C.S. § §  1515(a)(1) and 6303(a)(5) concerning jurisdiction of summary offenses arising out of the same episode or transaction involving a delinquent act for which a petition alleging delinquency is filed.

   See Section 1522 of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa.C.S. §  1522, concerning parental notification in certain summary cases involving defendants under 18 years of age.

   Official Note

   Previous Rule 51 adopted January 23, 1975, effective September 1, 1975; Comment revised January 28, 1983, effective July 1, 1983; Comment revised December 15, 1983, effective January 1, 1984; rescinded July 12, 1985, effective January 1, 1986; and replaced by present Rules 3, 51, 52, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, and 95. Present Rule 51 adopted July 12, 1985, effective January 1, 1986. The January 1, 1986 effective dates all are extended to July 1, 1986; Comment revised February 1, 1989, effective July 1, 1989; Comment revised January 31, 1991, effective July 1, 1991; Comment revised January 16, 1996, effective immediately; Comment revised June 6, 1997, effective immediately; renumbered Rule 400 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; Comment revised February 6, 2003, effective July 1, 2003; Comment revised August 7, 2003, effective July 1, 2004; Comment revised April 1, 2005, effective October 1, 2005; Comment revised March 9, 2006, effective September 1, 2006.

   Committee Explantory Reports:

   Report explaining the January 31, 1991 amendments published at 20 Pa.B. 4788 (September 15, 1990); Supplemental Report published at 21 Pa.B. 621 (February 16, 1991).

   Report explaining the January 16, 1996 Comment revisions published with the Court’s Order at 26 Pa.B. 437 (February 3, 1996).

   Report explaining the June 6, 1997 Comment revision published with the Court’s Order at 25 Pa.B. 2923 (June 21, 1997).

   Final Report explaining the March 1, 2000 reorganization and renumbering of the rules published with the Court’s Order at 30 Pa.B. 1478 (March 18, 2000).

   Final Report explaining the February 6, 2003 Comment revision concerning electronic transmission of citations published with the Court’s Order at 33 Pa.B. 973 (February 22, 2003).

   Final Report explaining the August 7, 2003 changes to the last two paragraphs of the Comment concerning the Juvenile Act and the rules published with the Court’s Order at 33 Pa.B. 4293 (August 30, 2003).

   Final Report explaining the April 1, 2005 Comment revision concerning Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure published with the Court’s Order at 35 Pa.B. 2213 (April 16, 2005).

   Final Report explaining the March 3, 2006 Comment revision concerning summary motor vehicle offenses published with the Court’s Order at 36 Pa.B. 1392 (March 25, 2006).

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 400 amended February 6, 2003, effective July 1, 2003, 33 Pa.B. 969; amended August 11, 2003, effective July 1, 2003, 33 Pa.B. 4289; amended April 1, 2005, effective October 1, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 2210; amended March 9, 2006, effective September 1, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 1385. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (310523) to (310525).



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