Chris’ Criminal Law Comments: Summary Cases Part 3

Attorney Chris PowellNot all summary offenses are initiated by the issuance of a citation. Only the police or some other law enforcement officer carries citations. However, a non-law enforcement officer or an individual with the proper authority can file a summary criminal case by filing a complaint with the proper Magisterial District Judge, or Magistrate. Upon the filing of a complaint, if the issuing authority, which is usually a Magistrate, decides to issue process, a summons shall be issued, unless the issuing authority has reasonable grounds to believe the defendant will not obey a summons, in which case an arrest warrant shall be issued. However, the District Attorney may, at his/her discretion, require a review of any summary complaint prior to it being submitted to the issuing authority.

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