CHRIS’ CRIMINAL LAW COMMENTS: Guilty Pleas in Summary Cases

Attorney Chris Powell, Powell Law Scranton PAAfter the filing of a summary citation or summons, the Defendant may plead guilty by notifying the Magistrate in writing of the plea and forwarding to the issuing authority an amount equal to the fine and costs specified in the summons.

If the amount of fines and costs are not specified in the summons, then the Defendant must appear before the issuing authority for the entry of the plea and imposition of sentence. When a Defendant pleads guilty pursuant to a summons, the Defendant must sign the guilty plea acknowledging that the plea is entered voluntarily and understandingly. However, the Magistrate shall not accept a guilty plea by mail when the offense carries a mandatory sentence of imprisonment. In those cases where the person has a possible sentence of imprisonment, the issuing authority shall notify the Defendant that he must appear on a certain date and time and he has the right to counsel.

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