Rule 529. Modification of Bail Order Prior to Verdict.
(a) The issuing authority who is the magisterial district judge who was elected or assigned to preside over the jurisdiction where the crime occurred, upon request of the defendant or the attorney for the Commonwealth, or by the issuing authority sua sponte, and after notice to the defendant and the attorney for the Commonwealth and an opportunity to be heard, may modify a bail order at anytime before the preliminary hearing.
(b) A bail order may be modified by an issuing authority at the preliminary hearing.
(c) The existing bail order may be modified by a judge of the court of common pleas:
(1) at any time prior to verdict upon motion of counsel for either party with notice to opposing counsel and after a hearing on the motion; or
(2) at trial or at a pretrial hearing in open court on the record when all parties are present.
(d) Once bail has been set or modified by a judge of the court of common pleas, it shall not be modified except
(1) by a judge of a court of superior jurisdiction, or
(2) by the same judge or by another judge of the court of common pleas either at trial or after notice to the parties and a hearing.
(e) When bail is modified pursuant to this rule, the modification shall be explained to the defendant and stated in writing or on the record by the issuing authority or the judge.
In making a decision whether to modify a bail order, the issuing authority or judge should evaluate the information about the defendant as it relates to the release criteria in Rule 523 and the types of release on bail set forth in Rule 524.
In Municipal Court cases, the Municipal Court judge may modify bail in the same manner as a common pleas judge may under this rule. See Rule 1011.
The procedures for modification of a bail order by the issuing authority were amended in 2006 to permit the issuing authority to modify bail at any time before the preliminary hearing on the issuing authoritys own motion or request of a party when, for example, new information becomes available concerning the defendant that would affect the issuing authoritys decision concerning the type of release and the conditions of release imposed at the preliminary arraignment. The 2006 amendments to subdivision (a) are not intended to affect bail procedures in the Philadelphia Municipal Court.
Once bail has been modified by a common pleas judge, only the common pleas judge subsequently may modify bail, even in cases that are pending before a district justice. See Rules 543 and 536.
Pursuant to this rule, the motion, notice, and hearing requirements in subdivisions (c)(1) and (d)(2) must be followed in all cases before a common pleas judge may modify a bail order unless the modification is made on the record in open court either when all parties are present at a pretrial hearingsuch as a suppression hearingor during trial.
See Pa.R.A.P. 1610 for the procedures to obtain appellate court review of an order of a judge of the court of common pleas granting or denying release, or modifying the conditions of release.
The provisions of this Rule 529 amended August 24, 2004, effective August 1, 2005, 34 Pa.B. 5016; amended May 19, 2006, effective August 1, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 2631; amended January 4, 2022, effective July 1, 2022, 52 Pa.B. 346. Immediately preceeding text appears at serial pages (376052) and (383601).
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