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22 Pa. Code § 237.9. Crimes involving moral turpitude.

§ 237.9. Crimes involving moral turpitude.

 (a)  Definition. Moral turpitude includes the following:

   (1)  That element of personal misconduct in the private and social duties which a person owes to his fellow human beings or to society in general, which characterizes the act done as an act of baseness, vileness or depravity, and contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between two human beings.

   (2)  Conduct done knowingly contrary to justice, honesty or good morals.

   (3)  Intentional, knowing or reckless conduct causing bodily injury to another or intentional, knowing or reckless conduct which, by physical menace, puts another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

 (b)  Elements of the crime. A determination of whether a crime involves moral turpitude will be determined based solely upon the elements of the crime. The underlying facts or details of an individual criminal charge, indictment or conviction are not relevant to the issue of moral turpitude.

 (c)  Specific crimes. Crimes involving moral turpitude per se include the following:

   (1)  An offense under 18 Pa.C.S. (relating to crimes and offenses) listed in section 111(e)(1) of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. §  1-111(e)(1)).

   (2)  An offense designated as a felony under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (35 P. S. § §  780-101—780-144). At any time subsequent to the adoption of this chapter if section 111(e)(1) is amended to add or delete crimes, the Commission will consider each additional or deleted crime to determine if the crime involves moral turpitude per se and will vote at a public meeting whether the crime will be designated as involving moral turpitude per se for purposes of cases coming before the Commission under section 9.2 of the Professional Educator Discipline Act (24 P. S. §  2070.9b) (act).

   (3)  An offense of a criminal law of the Commonwealth, the Federal government or another state or territory of the United States, or another nation, an element of which offense is delivery of a controlled substance or possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

   (4)  A State offense, out-of-State offense or Federal offense or another nation, similar in nature to crimes listed in paragraphs (1)—(3).

 (d)  Certified copy. For purposes of section 9.2 of the act and this section, a document certified by the clerk of court or other judicial officer designated by law as the official custodian of criminal court records or certified by the official custodian of the appropriate licensing authority in another state, territory or nation will be treated by the Commission as a certified copy of the document.

 (e)  Indictment. Indictment under section 9.2 of the act includes a criminal complaint, criminal information or other similar document filed in a court of competent jurisdiction.

 (f)  Conviction. The term conviction under section 9.2 of the act is defined to mean the verdict, judgment or sentence or the entry of an order which constitutes a final order by the sentencing court. A plea of guilty or nolo contendere constitutes a conviction for purposes of this section.


   The provisions of this §  237.9 amended under sections 5(a)(11) and 9b of the Professional Educator Discipline Act (24 P. S. § §  2070.5(a)(11) and 2070.9b).


   The provisions of this §  237.9 amended December 20, 2002, effective December 21, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 6256. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (286663) to (286664).

Notes of Decisions

   Illustrative Cases

   Because someone is convicted of simple assault in the context of a ‘‘scuffle entered into by mutual consent,’’ the elements of the crime do not necessarily satisfy the definition of moral turpitude set forth in the regulations; therefore, the Professional Standards and Practice Commission’s order granting summary judgment was reversed because the Department of Education may not revoke Teacher’s certification without a hearing. Bowalick v. Commonwealth, 840 A.2d 519, 525 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2004)

   Teacher’s assertion that, even if all facts contained within the Notice of Charges were deemed admitted, the teacher was entitled to a pre-order hearing to determine whether the crimes pled guilty to were, in fact, crimes of moral turpitude was rejected. Kinniry v. Professional Standards & Practices Commission, 678 A.2d 1230 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1996).

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