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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1806 (March 30, 2024).

234 Pa. Code Rule 461. Stays.

Rule 461. Stays.

 (A)  In all summary cases in which a sentence of imprisonment has been imposed, execution of sentence shall be stayed until the time for appeal expires.

 (B)  In any summary case in which a notice of appeal is filed, the execution of sentence shall be stayed.

 (C)  A defendant who is represented by counsel, or a defendant who has waived counsel as provided in Rule 121, may waive the stay. The waiver must be in writing, signed by the defendant and defendant’s counsel, if any, and made a part of the record.

 (D)  Whenever the execution of sentence is stayed pursuant to this rule, the issuing authority shall release the defendant on recognizance unless the issuing authority has reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant will not appear, in which case, the issuing authority may set collateral as provided in Rule 523.

   (1)  In determining whether it is necessary to set collateral and what amount of collateral should be set, the issuing authority shall consider the factors listed in Rule 523 and the length of sentence in relation to the length of the stay.

   (2)  The issuing authority shall state in writing the reason(s) why any collateral other than release on recognizance has been set and the facts that support a determination that the defendant has the ability to pay monetary collateral.

   (3)  If the defendant is incarcerated during the period of a stay for failure to post collateral, in no event shall the defendant be incarcerated for a period greater than the period of imprisonment awarded in the original sentence.

 (E)  During the 30-day appeal period, failure to pay fine and costs, or restitution, shall not be grounds for imprisonment, and shall not be grounds to preclude the taking of an appeal.


   This rule is derived from former Rule 86(B) and (C).

   The stay of the sentence of imprisonment in summary cases recognizes the limited length of the terms of imprisonment. However, there may be situations when the defendant would want the sentence to begin to run immediately following the conviction, and forego the benefits of the stay. To accommodate these extraordinary cases, this rule was amended in 2003 to permit a defendant who is represented by counsel, or who has waived counsel, to waive the stay of the execution of sentence. The waiver of the stay in no way is to be construed as a waiver of the right to appeal.

   When a defendant has waived the stay of execution of sentence under this rule, the issuing authority has discretion to determine the date to set for the beginning of the sentence of imprisonment.

   Under paragraph (B), the stay applies to all ‘‘sentences’’ imposed after conviction, including sentences of imprisonment, fines and costs, or restitution, and sentences of imprisonment for defaults in payment pursuant to Rule 456.

   Paragraph (D) permits an issuing authority to require the defendant to post collateral during the stay pending appeal. However, given the potentially short sentences in such cases, imprisoning a defendant during the stay period for failure to post collateral is contrary to the intent of the stay provision of this rule.

   Official Note

   Formerly Rule 86(B) and (C), adopted October 1, 1997, effective October 1, 1998; rescinded March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001, and paragraphs (B) and (C) replaced by Rule 461. New Rule 461 adopted March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; amended February 28, 2003, effective July 1, 2003; amended April 10, 2015, effective July 10, 2015.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:


   Final Report explaining the October 1, 1997 addition of paragraphs (B) and (C) to Rule 86 published with the Court’s Order at 27 Pa.B. 5408 (October 18, 1997).

   NEW RULE 461:

   Final Report explaining the reorganization and renumbering of the rules and the provisions of Rule 461 published at 30 Pa.B. 1478 (March 18, 2000).

   Final Report explaining the February 28, 2003 amendment concerning the addition of paragraph (C) published with the Court’s Order at 33 Pa.B. 1326 (March 15, 2003).

   Final Report explaining the April 10, 2015 amendment concerning the setting of collateral published with the Court’s Order at 45 Pa.B. 2045 (April 25, 2015).


   The provisions of this Rule 461 amended February 28, 2003, effective July 1, 2003, 33 Pa.B. 1324; amended April 10, 2015, effective July 10, 2015, 45 Pa.B. 2040. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (372130) to (372131).

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