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234 Pa. Code Rule 708. Violation of Probation, Intermediate Punishment, or Parole: Hearing and Disposition.

Rule 708. Violation of Probation, Intermediate Punishment, or Parole: Hearing and Disposition.

 (A)  A written request for revocation shall be filed with the clerk of courts.

 (B)  Whenever a defendant has been sentenced to probation or intermediate punishment, or placed on parole, the judge shall not revoke such probation, intermediate punishment, or parole as allowed by law unless there has been:

   (1)  a hearing held as speedily as possible at which the defendant is present and represented by counsel; and

   (2)  a finding of record that the defendant violated a condition of probation, intermediate punishment, or parole.

 (C)  Before the imposition of sentence,

   (1)  the defendant may plead guilty to other offenses that the defendant committed within the jurisdiction of the sentencing court.

   (2)  When such pleas are accepted, the court shall sentence the defendant for all the offenses.

 (D)  Sentencing Procedures

   (1)  At the time of sentencing, the judge shall afford the defendant the opportunity to make a statement in his or her behalf and shall afford counsel for both parties the opportunity to present information and argument relative to sentencing.

   (2)  The judge shall state on the record the reasons for the sentence imposed.

   (3)  The judge shall advise the defendant on the record:

     (a)   of the right to file a motion to modify sentence and to appeal, of the time within which the defendant must exercise those rights, and of the right to assistance of counsel in the preparation of the motion and appeal; and

     (b)   of the rights, if the defendant is indigent, to proceed in forma pauperis and to proceed with assigned counsel as provided in Rule 122.

   (4)  The judge shall require that a record of the sentencing proceeding be made and preserved so that it can be transcribed as needed. The record shall include:

     (a)   the record of any stipulation made at a pre-sentence conference; and

     (b)   a verbatim account of the entire sentencing proceeding.

 (E)  Motion to Modify Sentence

 A motion to modify a sentence imposed after a revocation shall be filed within 10 days of the date of imposition. The filing of a motion to modify sentence will not toll the 30-day appeal period.


   This rule addresses Gagnon II revocation hearings only, and not the procedures for determining probable cause (Gagnon I). See Gagnon v. Scarpelli, 411 U. S. 778 (1973).

   Paragraph (A) requires that the Gagnon II proceeding be initiated by a written request for revocation filed with the clerk of courts.

   The judge may not revoke probation or parole on arrest alone, but only upon a finding of a violation thereof after a hearing, as provided in this rule. However, the judge need not wait for disposition of new criminal charges to hold such hearing. See Commonwealth v. Kates, 452 Pa. 102, 305 A.2d 701 (1973).

   This rule does not govern parole cases under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, but applies only to the defendants who can be paroled by a judge. See 61 P. S. §  314. See also Georgevich v. Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, 510 Pa. 285, 507 A.2d 812 (1986).

   This rule was amended in 1996 to include sentences of intermediate punishment. See 42 Pa.C.S. § §  9763 and 9773. Rules 704, 720, and 721 do not apply to revocation cases.

   The objective of the procedures enumerated in paragraph (C) is to enable the court to sentence the defendant on all outstanding charges within the jurisdiction of the sentencing court at one time. See Rule 701.

   When a defendant is permitted to plead guilty to multiple offenses as provided in paragraph (C), if any of the other offenses involves a victim, the sentencing proceeding must be delayed to afford the Commonwealth adequate time to contact the victim(s), and to give the victim(s) an opportunity to offer prior comment on the sentencing or to submit a written and oral victim impact statement. See the Crime Victims Act, 18 P. S. §  11.201(5).

   Issues properly preserved at the sentencing proceeding need not, but may, be raised again in a motion to modify sentence in order to preserve them for appeal. In deciding whether to move to modify sentence, counsel must carefully consider whether the record created at the sentencing proceeding is adequate for appellate review of the issues, or the issues may be waived. See Commonwealth v. Jarvis, 444 Pa. Super. 295, 663 A.2d 790, 791-2, n.1 (1995). As a general rule, the motion to modify sentence under paragraph (E) gives the sentencing judge the earliest opportunity to modify the sentence. This procedure does not affect the court’s inherent powers to correct an illegal sentence or obvious and patent mistakes in its orders at any time before appeal or upon remand by the appellate court. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Jones, 520 Pa. 385, 554 A.2d 50 (1989) (sentencing court can, sua sponte, correct an illegal sentence even after the defendant has begun serving the original sentence) and Commonwealth v. Cole, 437 Pa. 288, 263 A.2d 339 (1970) (inherent power of the court to correct obvious and patent mistakes).

   Under this rule, the mere filing of a motion to modify sentence does not affect the running of the 30-day period for filing a timely notice of appeal. Any appeal must be filed within the 30-day appeal period unless the sentencing judge within 30 days of the imposition of sentence expressly grants reconsideration or vacates the sentence. See Commonwealth v. Coleman, 721 A.2d 798, 799, fn.2 (Pa. Super. 1998). See also Pa.R.A.P. 1701(b)(3).

   Once a sentence has been modified or re-imposed pursuant to a motion to modify sentence under paragraph (E), a party wishing to challenge the decision on the motion does not have to file an additional motion to modify sentence in order to preserve an issue for appeal, as long as the issue was properly preserved at the time sentence was modified or re-imposed.

   Official Note

   Former Rule 1409 adopted July 23, 1973, effective 90 days hence; amended May 22, 1978, effective as to cases in which sentence is imposed on or after July 1, 1978; Comment revised November 1, 1991, effective January 1, 1992; amended September 26, 1996, effective January 1, 1997; Comment revised August 22, 1997, effective January 1, 1998; renumbered Rule 708 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; amended February 26, 2002, effective July 1, 2002; amended March 15, 2013, effective May 1, 2013.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Report explaining the January 1, 1992 amendments published at 21 Pa.B. 2246 (May 11, 1990); Supplemental Report published with the Court’s Order at 21 Pa.B. 5329 (November 16, 1991).

   Final Report explaining the September 26, 1996 amendments published with the Court’s Order at 26 Pa.B. 4900 (October 12, 1996).

   Final Report explaining the August 22, 1997 Comment revision that cross-references Rule 721 published with the Court’s Order at 27 Pa.B. 4553 (September 6, 1997).

   Final Report explaining the March 1, 2000 reorganization and renumbering of the rules published with the Court’s Order at 30 Pa.B. 1478 (March 18, 2000).

   Final Report explaining the February 26, 2002 amendments concerning the 30-day appeal period published with the Court’s Order at 32 Pa.B. 1394 (March 16, 2002).

   Final Report explaining the March 15, 2013 amendments to paragraph (C) concerning multiple guilty pleas and the Comment concerning the Crime Victims Act published at 43 Pa.B. 1705 (March 30, 2013).


   The provisions of this Rule 708 amended February 26, 2002, effective July 1, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 1393; amended March 15, 2013, effective May 1, 2013, 43 Pa.B. 1702. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (287563) to (287564) and (312463).

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