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234 Pa. Code Rule 702. Aids in Imposing Sentence.

Rule 702. Aids in Imposing Sentence.


   (1)  The sentencing judge may, in the judge’s discretion, order a pre-sentence investigation report in any case.

   (2)  The sentencing judge shall place on the record the reasons for dispensing with the pre-sentence investigation report if the judge fails to order a pre-sentence report in any of the following instances:

     (a)   when incarceration for one year or more is a possible disposition under the applicable sentencing statutes;

     (b)   when the defendant is less than 21 years old at the time of conviction or entry of a plea of guilty; or

     (c)   when a defendant is a first offender in that he or she has not heretofore been sentenced as an adult.

   (3)  The pre-sentence investigation report shall include information regarding the circumstances of the offense and the character of the defendant sufficient to assist the judge in determining sentence.

   (4)  The pre-sentence investigation report shall also include a victim impact statement as provided by law.


 After a finding of guilt and before the imposition of sentence, after notice to counsel for both parties, the sentencing judge may, as provided by law, order the defendant to undergo a psychiatric or psychological examination. For this purpose the defendant may be remanded to any available clinic, hospital, institution, or state correctional diagnostic and classification center for a period not exceeding 60 days.


   For purposes of paragraph (A)(2)(c), whether the defendant has a prior juvenile adjudication is immaterial. Paragraph (A)(3) indicates in general terms what the contents of the pre-sentence investigation report must include. With respect to the particularized contents of such reports, see Commonwealth v. Martin, 351 A.2d 650 (Pa. 1976). Concerning other information that would be helpful for the sentencing judge to have in the pre-sentencing investigation report, see 18 Pa.C.S. §  1106(c)(2)(iv) (the judge, when determining the amount of restitution, must consider ‘‘any other preexisting orders imposed on the defendant, including, but not limited to, orders imposed under this title or any other title’’).

   For the victim’s right to have information included in the pre-sentence report concerning the impact of the crime on the victim, as provided in paragraph (A)(4), see 71 P. S. §  180-9.3.

   A psychiatric or psychological examination may be ordered on an outpatient or inpatient basis as provided by law. See 50 P. S. §  7405. Because the 1976 Mental Health Procedures Act excludes issues related to mental retardation, 50 P. S. §  7502, see also the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966, 50 P. S. §  4101 et seq.

   When an incarcerated defendant has undergone any period of voluntary or involuntary confinement for the purpose of examination pursuant to this rule, credit for the period of confinement should be given toward the sentence ultimately imposed. See, e.g., 50 P. S. § §  7401(b) and 7407(f).

   Additional pre-sentence procedures may be required by statute. For example, see 42 Pa.C.S. § §  9791—9799.5 (concerning persons convicted of sexually violent offenses) for pre-sentence assessment and hearing procedures. See also 42 Pa.C.S. §  9714(c) for hearing to determine high risk dangerous offender status.

   Under the provisions of Rule 703 (Disclosure of Pre-Sentence Reports), full disclosure of reports to defense counsel and the Commonwealth is required. See Rule 703(A)(2). Reports may also be disclosed under Rule 703 to other designated persons or agencies, unless the sentencing judge otherwise orders. See Rule 703(C), (D), and (E).

   Official Note

   Rule 1403 adopted July 23, 1973, effective 90 days hence; amended June 28, 1976, effective January 1, 1977; amended November 1, 1991, effective January 1, 1992; amended March 22, 1993, effective January 1, 1994; Comment revised April 18, 1997, effective immediately; renumbered Rule 702 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; Comment revised March 27, 2003, effective July 1, 2003.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Report explaining the January 1, 1992 amendments published at 20 Pa.B. 1697 (March 24, 1990); Supplemental Report published with the Court’s Order at 21 Pa.B. 5329 (November 16, 1991).

   Final Report explaining the March 22, 1993 amendments published with the Court’s Order at 23 Pa.B. 1699 (April 10, 1993).

   Report explaining the April 18, 1997 Comment revision published with the Court’s Order at 27 Pa.B. 2122 (May 3, 1997).

   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).

   Final Report explaining the March 27, 2003 Comment revision adding a cross-reference to 18 Pa.C.S. §  1106 published with the Court’s Order at 33 Pa.B. 1928 (April 19, 2003).


   The provisions of this Rule 702 amended March 27, 2003, effective July 1, 2003, 33 Pa.B. 1927. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (264336) to (264337).

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