Rule 521. Bail After Finding of Guilt.
(A) BEFORE SENTENCING
(1) Capital and Life Imprisonment Cases
When a defendant is found guilty of an offense which is punishable by death or life imprisonment, the defendant shall not be released on bail.
(2) Other Cases
(a) The defendant shall have the same right to bail after verdict and before the imposition of sentence as the defendant had before verdict when the aggregate of possible sentences to imprisonment on all outstanding verdicts against the defendant within the same judicial district cannot exceed 3 years.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (A)(1), when the aggregate of possible sentences to imprisonment on all outstanding verdicts against the defendant within the same judicial district can exceed 3 years, the defendant shall have the same right to bail as before verdict unless the judge makes a finding:
(i) that no one or more conditions of bail will reasonably ensure that the defendant will appear and comply with the conditions of the bail bond;or
(ii) that the defendant poses a danger to any other person or to the community or to himself or herself.
The judge may revoke or refuse to set bail based upon such a finding.
(B) AFTER SENTENCING
(1) When the sentence imposed includes imprisonment of less than 2 years, the defendant shall have the same right to bail as before verdict, unless the judge, pursuant to paragraph (D), modifies the bail order.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (A)(1), when the sentence imposed includes imprisonment of 2 years or more, the defendant shall not have the same right to bail as before verdict, but bail may be allowed in the discretion of the judge.
(3) When the defendant is released on bail after sentencing, the judge shall require as a condition of release that the defendant either file a post-sentence motion and perfect an appeal or, when no post-sentence motion is filed, perfect an appeal within the time permitted by law.
(C) REASONS FOR REFUSING OR REVOKING BAIL
Whenever bail is refused or revoked under this rule, the judge shall state on the record the reasons for this decision.
(D) MODIFICATION OF BAIL ORDER AFTER VERDICT OR AFTER SENTENCING
(1) When a defendant is eligible for release on bail after verdict or after sentencing pursuant to this rule, the existing bail order may be modified by a judge of the court of common pleas, upon the judges own motion or upon motion of counsel for either party with notice to opposing counsel, in open court on the record when all parties are present.
(2) The decision whether to change the type of release on bail or what conditions of release to impose shall be based on the judges evaluation of the information about the defendant as it relates to the release criteria set forth in Rule 523. The judge shall also consider whether there is an increased likelihood of the defendants fleeing the jurisdiction or whether the defendant is a danger to any other person or to the community or to himself or herself.
(3) The judge may change the type of release on bail, impose additional nonmonetary conditions as provided in Rule 527, or, if appropriate, impose or increase a monetary condition as provided in Rule 528.
(E) MUNICIPAL COURT
Bail after a finding of guilt in the Municipal Court of Philadelphia shall be governed by the rules set forth in Chapter 10.
For post-sentence procedures generally, see Rules 704 and 720. For additional procedures in cases in which a sentence of death or life imprisonment has been imposed, see Rules 810 and 811.
For purposes of this rule, verdict includes a plea of guilty or nolo contendere which is accepted by the judge.
Whenever the trial judge sets bail after sentencing pending appeal, paragraph (B)(3) requires that a condition of release be that the defendant perfect a timely appeal. However, the trial judge cannot, as part of that condition, require that the defendant perfect the appeal in less time than that allowed by law.
Unless bail is revoked, the bail bond is valid until full and final disposition of the case. See Rule 534. The Rule 534 Comment points out that the bail bond is valid through all avenues of direct appeal in the Pennsylvania courts, but not through any collateral attack.
Former Rule 4009, previously Rule 4011, adopted November 22, 1965, effective June 1, 1966; renumbered Rule 4009 and title amended July 23, 1973, effective 60 days hence; rescinded September 13, 1995, effective January 1, 1996, and replaced by Rule 532. Present Rule 4009 adopted September 13, 1995, effective January 1, 1996. The January 1, 1996 effective dates extended to April 1, 1996; the April 1, 1996 effective dates extended to July 1, 1996; renumbered Rule 521 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; Comment revised June 4, effective November 1, 2004.
Committee Explanatory Reports:
Final Report explaining the March 22, 1993 amendments to former Rule 4010B(3), included in new Rule 521(B)(3), published with the Courts Order at 23 Pa.B. 1699 (April 10, 1993).
Final Report explaining the provisions of the new rule published with Courts Order at 25 Pa.B. 4116 (September 30, 1995).
Final Report explaining the March 1, 2000 reorganization and renumbering of the rules published with the Courts Order at 30 Pa.B. 1477 (March 18, 2000).
The provisions of this Rule 521 amended June 4, 2004, effective November 1, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 3105. Immediately preceeding text appears at serial pages (264241) to (264243).
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