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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1032 (February 24, 2024).

225 Pa. Code Rule 607. Who May Impeach a Witness, Evidence to Impeach a Witness.

Rule 607. Who May Impeach a Witness, Evidence to Impeach a Witness.

 (a)  Who May Impeach a Witness. Any party, including the party that called the witness, may attack the witness’s credibility.

 (b)  Evidence to Impeach a Witness. The credibility of a witness may be impeached by any evidence relevant to that issue, except as otherwise provided by statute or these rules.


   Pa.R.E. 607(a) is identical to F.R.E. 607. It abolishes the common law rule that prohibited a party from impeaching a witness called by that party.

   The Federal Rules have no provision similar to Pa.R.E. 607(b). Pa.R.E. 607(b) applies the test for relevant evidence of Pa.R.E. 401 to evidence offered to impeach the credibility of a witness. As is the case under Pa.R.E. 402, there are limits on the admissibility of evidence relevant to the credibility of a witness imposed by these rules. For example, Pa.R.E. 403 excludes relevant evidence if its probative value is outweighed by danger of unfair prejudice, etc., and there are specific limitations on impeachment imposed by Rules 608, 609 and 610. There are statutory limitations such as 18 Pa.C.S. §  3104 (Rape Shield Law).

   Pa.R.E. 607(b), however, is not curtailed by 42 Pa.C.S. §  5918, which prohibits, with certain exceptions, the questioning of a defendant who testifies in a criminal case for the purpose of showing that the defendant has committed, been convicted of or charged with another offense or that the defendant has a bad character or reputation. In Commonwealth v. Bighum, 452 Pa. 554, 307 A.2d 255 (1973), this statute was interpreted to apply only to cross-examination. Hence, it affects only the timing and method of impeachment of a defendant; it does not bar the impeachment entirely.

   Official Note

   Adopted May 8, 1998, effective October 1, 1998; rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective March 18, 2013.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Final Report explaining the January 17, 2013 rescission and replacement published with the Court’s Order at 43 Pa.B. 651 (February 2, 2013).


   The provisions of this Rule 607 rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective in sixty days, 43 Pa.B. 620. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (330288) and (297583).

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