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COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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234 Pa. Code Rule 530. Duties and Powers of a Bail Agency.

PART C(2). General Procedures in All Bail Cases


Rule 530. Duties and Powers of a Bail Agency.

 (A)  Each court of common pleas may, by local rule, establish or designate a bail agency to monitor and assist defendants released on bail pursuant to these rules. The duties and powers of the agency shall include the following:

   (1)  gathering information about defendants relevant to bail decisions;

   (2)  making recommendations to the bail authorities concerning the types of release and the conditions of release on bail for individual defendants;

   (3)  supervising defendants when so designated by the bail authority;

   (4)  administering percentage cash bail when authorized by a bail authority pursuant to Rule 528, and evaluating for the bail authority the reliability and solvency of prospective sureties for percentage cash bail programs; and

   (5)  making reasonable rules and regulations to implement the bail agency’s functions.

 (B)  The representative of the bail agency who obtains information from a defendant shall, both orally and in writing, advise the defendant that anything said to a bail agency representative may be used against the defendant.

 (C)  Information obtained from or concerning the defendant by a bail agency shall be disclosed only to the defendant, counsel for the defendant, the issuing authority or judge setting bail, the attorney for the Commonwealth, and the department of probation or parole preparing a presentence report regarding the defendant. This information shall not be disclosed or used except for purposes relating to the defendant’s bail or a presentence report about the defendant, or in a prosecution based on the falsity of the information, or for impeachment purposes to the extent permitted by law.

Comment

   Under the pre-1995 bail rules, a court bail agency, pursuant to a local rule establishing the bail agency, could be a surety in a percentage cash bail program, as well as administering the program, or a private person or agency could be required to be the surety. In addition, the bail agency was permitted by some local rules to decide the exact amount of the percentage of the cash bail that a defendant was required to post, provided that it did not exceed 10% of the total amount of the monetary condition. Nothing in this rule is intended to preclude these procedures from continuing or from being incorporated in any new local rules establishing bail agencies. See Rule 528.

   The information from or concerning a defendant that is gathered by a bail agency pursuant to paragraph (C) may be disclosed only to a specifically limited group of people, who may not use it or disclose it for any purposes other than the bail determination, preparation of a presentence report on the defendant, a prosecution for the falsity of the information, or impeachment as permitted by law.

   Bail agencies should ensure that their employees avoid conflicts of interest.

   See Rule 536 for the authority of a bail agency to apply for a bail piece.

   Official Note

   Former Rule 4010 adopted July 23, 1973, effective 60 days hence; amended September 22, 1976, effective November 1, 1976; amended January 28, 1983, effective July 1, 1983; amended March 22, 1993, effective as to cases in which the determination of guilt occurs on or after January 1, 1994; rescinded September 13, 1995, effective January 1, 1996, and replaced by Rule 521. Present Rule 4010 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 530 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Final Report explaining the provisions of the new rule published with Court’s 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 Court’s Order at 30 Pa.B. 1477 (March 18, 2000).



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