18c4901h

 

 

CHAPTER 49

FALSIFICATION AND INTIMIDATION

 

Subchapter

A.  Perjury and Falsification in Official Matters

B.  Victim and Witness Intimidation

 

Enactment.  Chapter 49 was added December 6, 1972, P.L.1482, No.334, effective in six months.

Chapter Heading.  The heading of Chapter 49 was amended December 4, 1980, P.L.1097, No.187, effective in 60 days.

Cross References.  Chapter 49 is referred to in section 911 of this title; section 6122 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations); section 62A20 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure); section 5508.3 of Title 53 (Municipalities Generally); section 6017 of Title 64 (Public Authorities and Quasi-Public Corporations).

 

 

SUBCHAPTER A

PERJURY AND FALSIFICATION

IN OFFICIAL MATTERS

 

Sec.

4901.  Definition.

4902.  Perjury.

4903.  False swearing.

4904.  Unsworn falsification to authorities.

4905.  False alarms to agencies of public safety.

4906.  False reports to law enforcement authorities.

4906.1. False reports of child abuse.

4907.  Tampering with witnesses and informants (Repealed).

4908.  Retaliation against witness or informant (Repealed).

4909.  Witness or informant taking bribe.

4910.  Tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

4911.  Tampering with public records or information.

4912.  Impersonating a public servant.

4913.  Impersonating a notary public or a holder of a professional or occupational license.

4914.  False identification to law enforcement authorities.

4915.  Failure to comply with registration of sexual offenders requirements (Expired).

4915.1. Failure to comply with registration requirements.

 

Subchapter Heading.  The heading of Subchapter A was added December 4, 1980, P.L.1097, No.187, effective in 60 days.

Cross References.  Subchapter A is referred to in section 3575 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c4901s

§ 4901.  Definition.

As used in this chapter, unless a different meaning plainly is required "statement" means any representation, but includes a representation of opinion, belief or other state of mind only if the representation clearly relates to state of mind apart from or in addition to any facts which are the subject of the representation.

18c4902s

§ 4902.  Perjury.

(a)  Offense defined.--A person is guilty of perjury, a felony of the third degree, if in any official proceeding he makes a false statement under oath or equivalent affirmation, or swears or affirms the truth of a statement previously made, when the statement is material and he does not believe it to be true.

(b)  Materiality.--Falsification is material, regardless of the admissibility of the statement under rules of evidence, if it could have affected the course or outcome of the proceeding. It is no defense that the declarant mistakenly believed the falsification to be immaterial. Whether a falsification is material in a given factual situation is a question of law.

(c)  Irregularities no defense.--It is not a defense to prosecution under this section that the oath or affirmation was administered or taken in an irregular manner or that the declarant was not competent to make the statement. A document purporting to be made upon oath or affirmation at any time when the actor presents it as being so verified shall be deemed to have been duly sworn or affirmed.

(d)  Retraction.--No person shall be guilty of an offense under this section if he retracted the falsification in the course of the proceeding in which it was made before it became manifest that the falsification was or would be exposed and before the falsification substantially affected the proceeding.

(e)  Inconsistent statements.--Where the defendant made inconsistent statements under oath or equivalent affirmation, both having been made within the period of the statute of limitations, the prosecution may proceed by setting forth the inconsistent statements in a single count alleging in the alternative that one or the other was false and not believed by the defendant. In such case it shall not be necessary for the prosecution to prove which statement was false but only that one or the other was false and not believed by the defendant to be true.

(f)  Corroboration.--In any prosecution under this section, except under subsection (e) of this section, falsity of a statement may not be established by the uncorroborated testimony of a single witness.

18c4902v

 

Cross References.  Section 4902 is referred to in sections 3218, 4903, 4904, 5708 of this title; section 1518 of Title 4 (Amusements); sections 916, 3304 of Title 5 (Athletics and Sports); section 1714 of Title 25 (Elections); sections 5552, 5947 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c4903s

§ 4903.  False swearing.

(a)  False swearing in official matters.--A person who makes a false statement under oath or equivalent affirmation, or swears or affirms the truth of such a statement previously made, when he does not believe the statement to be true is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree if:

(1)  the falsification occurs in an official proceeding; or

(2)  the falsification is intended to mislead a public servant in performing his official function.

(b)  Other false swearing.--A person who makes a false statement under oath or equivalent affirmation, or swears or affirms the truth of such a statement previously made, when he does not believe the statement to be true, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree, if the statement is one which is required by law to be sworn or affirmed before a notary or other person authorized to administer oaths.

(c)  Perjury provisions applicable.--Section 4902(c) through (f) of this title (relating to perjury) applies to this section.

18c4903v

 

Cross References.  Section 4903 is referred to in sections 1310, 1518, 1602 of Title 4 (Amusements); section 1714 of Title 25 (Elections); section 4110 of Title 27 (Environmental Resources); sections 5552, 5947 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c4904s

§ 4904.  Unsworn falsification to authorities.

(a)  In general.--A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if, with intent to mislead a public servant in performing his official function, he:

(1)  makes any written false statement which he does not believe to be true;

(2)  submits or invites reliance on any writing which he knows to be forged, altered or otherwise lacking in authenticity; or

(3)  submits or invites reliance on any sample, specimen, map, boundary mark, or other object which he knows to be false.

(b)  Statements "under penalty".--A person commits a misdemeanor of the third degree if he makes a written false statement which he does not believe to be true, on or pursuant to a form bearing notice, authorized by law, to the effect that false statements made therein are punishable.

(c)  Perjury provisions applicable.--Section 4902(c) through (f) of this title (relating to perjury) applies to this section.

(d)  Penalty.--In addition to any other penalty that may be imposed, a person convicted under this section shall be sentenced to pay a fine of at least $1,000.

18c4904v

(Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1481, No.168, eff. 60 days)

 

2006 Amendment.  Act 168 added subsec. (d).

Cross References.  Section 4904 is referred to in section 6116 of this title; section 2344 of Title 3 (Agriculture); section 1518 of Title 4 (Amusements); sections 102, 134, 142, 8998 of Title 15 (Corporations and Unincorporated Associations); sections 761, 911, 3101 of Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries); sections 4308.1, 5103, 5337, 6344.2, 6711 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations); section 1714 of Title 25 (Elections); section 4110 of Title 27 (Environmental Resources); section 7923 of Title 35 (Health and Safety); sections 102, 1904, 5552, 5903 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure); section 101 of Title 54 (Names); section 1510 of Title 75 (Vehicles).

18c4905s

§ 4905.  False alarms to agencies of public safety.

(a)  Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if he knowingly causes a false alarm of fire or other emergency to be transmitted to or within any organization, official or volunteer, for dealing with emergencies involving danger to life or property.

(b)  Grading.--An offense under this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree unless the transmission of the false alarm of fire or other emergency occurs during a declared state of emergency and the false alarm causes the resources of the organization to be diverted from dealing with the declared state of emergency, in which case the offense is a felony of the third degree.

18c4905v

(June 28, 2002, P.L.481, No.82, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 4905 is referred to in section 5552 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c4906s

§ 4906.  False reports to law enforcement authorities.

(a)  Falsely incriminating another.--Except as provided in subsection (c), a person who knowingly gives false information to any law enforcement officer with intent to implicate another commits a misdemeanor of the second degree.

(b)  Fictitious reports.--Except as provided in subsection (c), a person commits a misdemeanor of the third degree if he:

(1)  reports to law enforcement authorities an offense or other incident within their concern knowing that it did not occur; or

(2)  pretends to furnish such authorities with information relating to an offense or incident when he knows he has no information relating to such offense or incident.

(c)  Grading.--

(1)  If the violation of subsection (a) or (b) occurs during a declared state of emergency and the false report causes the resources of the law enforcement authority to be diverted from dealing with the declared state of emergency, the offense shall be graded one step greater than that set forth in the applicable subsection.

(2)  If the violation of subsection (a) or (b) relates to a false report of the theft or loss of a firearm, as defined in section 5515 (relating to prohibiting of paramilitary training), the offense shall be graded one step greater than that set forth in the applicable subsection.

18c4906v

(June 28, 2002, P.L.481, No.82, eff. 60 days; Oct. 17, 2008, P.L.1628, No.131, eff. 60 days)

 

2008 Amendment.  Act 131 amended subsec. (c).

Cross References.  Section 4906 is referred to in sections 2709, 2709.1, 6105 of this title; section 6106 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations); sections 5552, 62A05 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c4906.1s

§ 4906.1.  False reports of child abuse.

A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if the person intentionally or knowingly makes a false report of child abuse under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to child protective services) or intentionally or knowingly induces a child to make a false claim of child abuse under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63.

18c4906.1v

(Dec. 18, 2013, P.L.1198, No.118, eff. Jan. 1, 2014)

 

2013 Amendment.  Act 118 added section 4906.1.

Cross References.  Section 4906.1 is referred to in sections 6331, 6335, 6336, 6340 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations).

18c4907s

§ 4907.  Tampering with witnesses and informants (Repealed).

18c4907v

 

1980 Repeal.  Section 4907 was repealed December 4, 1980 (P.L.1097, No.187), effective in 60 days. The subject matter is now contained in Subchapter B of this chapter.

18c4908s

§ 4908.  Retaliation against witness or informant (Repealed).

18c4908v

 

1980 Repeal.  Section 4908 was repealed December 4, 1980 (P.L.1097, No.187), effective in 60 days. The subject matter is now contained in Subchapter B of this chapter.

18c4909s

§ 4909.  Witness or informant taking bribe.

A person commits a felony of the third degree if he solicits, accepts or agrees to accept any benefit in consideration of his doing any of the things specified in section 4952(a)(1) through (6) (relating to intimidation of witnesses or victims).

18c4909v

(Dec. 4, 1980, P.L.1097, No.187, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 4909 is referred to in section 5708 of the title; section 5552 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c4910s

§ 4910.  Tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if, believing that an official proceeding or investigation is pending or about to be instituted, he:

(1)  alters, destroys, conceals or removes any record, document or thing with intent to impair its verity or availability in such proceeding or investigation; or

(2)  makes, presents or uses any record, document or thing knowing it to be false and with intent to mislead a public servant who is or may be engaged in such proceeding or investigation.

18c4910v

 

Cross References.  Section 4910 is referred to in section 5552 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c4911s

§ 4911.  Tampering with public records or information.

(a)  Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if he:

(1)  knowingly makes a false entry in, or false alteration of, any record, document or thing belonging to, or received or kept by, the government for information or record, or required by law to be kept by others for information of the government;

(2)  makes, presents or uses any record, document or thing knowing it to be false, and with intent that it be taken as a genuine part of information or records referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection; or

(3)  intentionally and unlawfully destroys, conceals, removes or otherwise impairs the verity or availability of any such record, document or thing.

(b)  Grading.--An offense under this section is a misdemeanor of the second degree unless the intent of the actor is to defraud or injure anyone, in which case the offense is a felony of the third degree.

18c4911v

 

Cross References.  Section 4911 is referred to in section 5708 of this title; section 9518 of Title 13 (Commercial Code); section 5552 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c4912s

§ 4912.  Impersonating a public servant.

A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he falsely pretends to hold a position in the public service with intent to induce another to submit to such pretended official authority or otherwise to act in reliance upon that pretense to his prejudice.

18c4912v

 

Cross References.  Section 4912 is referred to in sections 6105, 9122.1 of this title; section 5552 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c4913s

§ 4913.  Impersonating a notary public or a holder of a professional or occupational license.

(a)  Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if the person does any of the following:

(1)  falsely pretends to hold the office of notary public within this Commonwealth or to hold a professional or occupational license issued by a licensing board; and

(2)  performs any action in furtherance of this false pretense.

(b)  Grading.--

(1)  Except as set forth in paragraph (2) or (3), an offense under this section is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

(2)  If the intent of the actor is to harm, defraud or injure anyone, an offense under this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(3)  If the intent of the actor is to impersonate a doctor of medicine and, in so doing, the actor provides medical advice or treatment to another person as a patient, regardless of whether or not the other person suffers harm from the medical advice or treatment, an offense under this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

18c4913v

(Mar. 21, 1996, P.L.35, No.11, eff. 60 days; Mar. 22, 2010, P.L.144, No.12, eff. 60 days; June 26, 2015, P.L.32, No.10, eff. 60 days)

 

2015 Amendment.  Act 10 amended subsec. (b)(1) and added subsec. (b)(3).

Cross References.  Section 4913 is referred to in section 323 of Title 57 (Notaries Public).

18c4914s

§ 4914.  False identification to law enforcement authorities.

(a)  Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if he furnishes law enforcement authorities with false information about his identity after being informed by a law enforcement officer who is in uniform or who has identified himself as a law enforcement officer that the person is the subject of an official investigation of a violation of law.

(b)  Grading.--An offense under this section is a misdemeanor of the third degree.

18c4914v

(Dec. 20, 2000, P.L.972, No.133, eff. 60 days)

 

2000 Amendment.  Act 133 added section 4914.

18c4915s

§ 4915.  Failure to comply with registration of sexual offenders requirements (Expired).

18c4915v

 

2012 Expiration.  Section 4915 expired December 20, 2012. See Act 91 of 2012.

2013 Unconstitutionality.  Act 152 of 2004 was declared unconstitutional. Commonwealth v. Neiman, 84 A.3d 603 (Pa. 2013). The unconstitutionality took effect March 17, 2014.

18c4915.1s

§ 4915.1.  Failure to comply with registration requirements.

(a)  Offense defined.--An individual who is subject to registration under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.13 (relating to applicability) commits an offense if he knowingly fails to:

(1)  register with the Pennsylvania State Police as required under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.15 (relating to period of registration), 9799.19 (relating to initial registration) or 9799.25 (relating to verification by sexual offenders and Pennsylvania State Police);

(2)  verify his address or be photographed as required under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.15, 9799.19 or 9799.25; or

(3)  provide accurate information when registering under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.15, 9799.19 or 9799.25.

(a.1)  Transients.--An individual set forth in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.13 who is a transient commits an offense if he knowingly fails to:

(1)  register with the Pennsylvania State Police as required under 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9799.15, 9799.16(b)(6) (relating to registry) and 9799.25(a)(7);

(2)  verify the information provided in 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9799.15 and 9799.16(b)(6) or be photographed as required under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.15 or 9799.25;

(3)  provide accurate information when registering under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.15, 9799.16(b)(6) or 9799.25.

(a.2)  Counseling.--The following apply:

(1)  An individual who is designated as a sexually violent predator or sexually violent delinquent child commits an offense if he knowingly fails to comply with 42 Pa.C.S. § 6404.2(g) (relating to duration of outpatient commitment and review) or 9799.36 (relating to counseling of sexually violent predators).

(2)  An individual who is subject to a counseling requirement under a sex offender registration statute following conviction in another jurisdiction commits an offense if he knowingly fails to comply with 42 Pa.C.S. §  9799.36.

(b)  Grading for sexual offenders who must register for 15 years or who must register pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.13(7.1).--

(1)  Except as set forth in paragraph (3), an individual who commits a violation of subsection (a)(1) or (2) commits a felony of the third degree.

(2)  An individual who commits a violation of subsection (a)(1) or (2) and who has previously been convicted of an offense under subsection (a)(1) or (2) or (a.1)(1) or (2) or a similar offense commits a felony of the second degree.

(3)  An individual who violates subsection (a)(3) commits a felony of the second degree.

(4)  For the purposes of this subsection, an individual shall mean an individual that meets any of the following:

(i)  Is subject to registration under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.13 and is required to register for a period of 15 years.

(ii)  Is subject to registration under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.13(7.1).

(c)  Grading for sexual offenders who must register for 25 years or life.--

(1)  Except as set forth in paragraph (3), an individual subject to registration under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.13 and required to register for a period of 25 years or life who commits a violation of subsection (a)(1) or (2) commits a felony of the second degree.

(2)  An individual subject to registration under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.13 and required to register for a period of 25 years or life who commits a violation of subsection (a)(1) or (2) and who has previously been convicted of an offense under subsection (a)(1) or (2) or (a.1)(1) or (2) or a similar offense commits a felony of the first degree.

(3)  An individual subject to registration under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.13 and required to register for a period of 25 years or life who violates subsection (a)(3) commits a felony of the first degree.

(c.1)  Grading for sexual offenders who are transients who must register for 15 years.--

(1)  Except as set forth in paragraph (2) or (3), an individual commits a felony of the third degree if the individual violates subsection (a.1)(1) or (2).

(2)  An individual commits a felony of the second degree if the individual violates subsection (a.1)(3).

(3)  An individual commits a felony of the second degree if the individual violates subsection (a.1)(1) or (2) and has been previously convicted of an offense under subsection (a)(1) or (2) or (a.1)(1) or (2) or a similar offense.

(4)  For the purposes of this subsection, an individual shall mean an individual that meets any of the following:

(i)  Is subject to registration under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.13 and is a transient who must register for a period of 15 years.

(ii)  Is subject to registration under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.13(7.1) and is a transient.

(c.2)  Grading for sexual offenders who are transients who must register for 25 years or life.--

(1)  Except as set forth in paragraph (2) or (3), an individual subject to registration under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.13 who is a transient who must register for a period of 25 years or life commits a felony of the second degree if the individual violates subsection (a.1)(1) or (2).

(2)  An individual who is subject to registration under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.13 who is a transient who must register for a period of 25 years or life commits a felony of the first degree if the individual violates subsection (a.1)(3).

(3)  An individual subject to registration under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.13 who is a transient who must register for a period of 25 years or life commits a felony of the first degree if the individual violates subsection (a.1)(1) or (2) and has been previously convicted of an offense under subsection (a)(1) or (2) or (a.1)(1) or (2) or a similar offense.

(c.3)  Grading for failure to comply with counseling requirements.--An individual designated as a sexually violent predator or sexually violent delinquent child or an individual who is subject to a counseling requirement under a sex offender registration statute following conviction in another jurisdiction commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if the individual violates subsection (a.2).

(d)  Effect of notice.--Neither failure on the part of the Pennsylvania State Police to send nor failure of a sexually violent predator or offender to receive any notice or information pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.25 shall be a defense to a prosecution commenced against an individual arising from a violation of this section. The provisions of 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.25 are not an element of an offense under this section.

(e)  Arrests for violation.--

(1)  A police officer shall have the same right of arrest without a warrant as in a felony whenever the police officer has probable cause to believe an individual has committed a violation of this section regardless of whether the violation occurred in the presence of the police officer.

(2)  An individual arrested for a violation of this section shall be afforded a preliminary arraignment by the proper issuing authority without unnecessary delay. In no case may the individual be released from custody without first having appeared before the issuing authority.

(3)  Prior to admitting an individual arrested for a violation of this section to bail, the issuing authority shall require all of the following:

(i)  The individual must be fingerprinted and photographed in the manner required by 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 97 Subch. H (relating to registration of sexual offenders).

(ii)  The individual must provide the Pennsylvania State Police with all current or intended residences, all information concerning current or intended employment, including all employment locations, and all information concerning current or intended enrollment as a student. This subparagraph includes an individual who is a transient, in which case the individual must, in addition to other information required under this subparagraph, provide the information set forth in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.16(b)(6).

(iii)  Law enforcement must make reasonable attempts to verify the information provided by the individual.

(f)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Sexually violent delinquent child."  The term shall have the meaning given to it in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.12 (relating to definitions).

"Sexually violent predator."  The term shall have the meaning given to it in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.12 (relating to definitions).

"Similar offense."  An offense similar to an offense under either subsection (a)(1) or (2) under the laws of this Commonwealth, another jurisdiction or a foreign country or a military offense, as defined in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.12 (relating to definitions).

"Transient."  The term shall have the meaning given to it in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.12 (relating to definitions).

18c4915.1v

(Dec. 20, 2011, P.L.446, No.111, eff. one year; July 5, 2012, P.L.880, No.91, eff. Dec. 20, 2012)

 

2012 Amendment.  Act 91 amended subsecs. (b) and (c.1).

2011 Amendment.  Act 111 added section 4915.1.

Cross References.  Section 4915.1 is referred to in sections 6404.2, 9718.4, 9799.21, 9799.25, 9799.36 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c4951h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B

VICTIM AND WITNESS INTIMIDATION

 

Sec.

4951.  Definitions.

4952.  Intimidation of witnesses or victims.

4953.  Retaliation against witness, victim or party.

4953.1. Retaliation against prosecutor or judicial official.

4954.  Protective orders.

4954.1. Notice on protective order.

4955.  Violation of orders.

4956.  Pretrial release.

4957.  Protection of employment of crime victims, family members of victims and witnesses.

4958.  Intimidation, retaliation or obstruction in child abuse cases.

 

Enactment.  Subchapter B was added December 4, 1980, P.L.1097, No.187, effective in 60 days.

Cross References.  Subchapter B is referred to in sections 3016, 3502 of this title; section 3103 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations).

18c4951s

§ 4951.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this section:

"Victim."  Any person against whom any crime as defined under the laws of this State or of any other state or of the United States is being or has been perpetrated or attempted.

"Witness."  Any person having knowledge of the existence or nonexistence of facts or information relating to any crime, including but not limited to those who have reported facts or information to any law enforcement officer, prosecuting official, attorney representing a criminal defendant or judge, those who have been served with a subpoena issued under the authority of this State or any other state or of the United States, and those who have given written or oral testimony in any criminal matter; or who would be believed by any reasonable person to be an individual described in this definition.

18c4951v

 

Cross References.  Section 4951 is referred to in section 8127 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c4952s

§ 4952.  Intimidation of witnesses or victims.

(a)  Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if, with the intent to or with the knowledge that his conduct will obstruct, impede, impair, prevent or interfere with the administration of criminal justice, he intimidates or attempts to intimidate any witness or victim to:

(1)  Refrain from informing or reporting to any law enforcement officer, prosecuting official or judge concerning any information, document or thing relating to the commission of a crime.

(2)  Give any false or misleading information or testimony relating to the commission of any crime to any law enforcement officer, prosecuting official or judge.

(3)  Withhold any testimony, information, document or thing relating to the commission of a crime from any law enforcement officer, prosecuting official or judge.

(4)  Give any false or misleading information or testimony or refrain from giving any testimony, information, document or thing, relating to the commission of a crime, to an attorney representing a criminal defendant.

(5)  Elude, evade or ignore any request to appear or legal process summoning him to appear to testify or supply evidence.

(6)  Absent himself from any proceeding or investigation to which he has been legally summoned.

(b)  Grading.--

(1)  The offense is a felony of the degree indicated in paragraphs (2) through (4) if:

(i)  The actor employs force, violence or deception, or threatens to employ force or violence, upon the witness or victim or, with the requisite intent or knowledge upon any other person.

(ii)  The actor offers any pecuniary or other benefit to the witness or victim or, with the requisite intent or knowledge, to any other person.

(iii)  The actor's conduct is in furtherance of a conspiracy to intimidate a witness or victim.

(iv)  The actor accepts, agrees or solicits another to accept any pecuniary or other benefit to intimidate a witness or victim.

(v)  The actor has suffered any prior conviction for any violation of this section or any predecessor law hereto, or has been convicted, under any Federal statute or statute of any other state, of an act which would be a violation of this section if committed in this State.

(2)  The offense is a felony of the first degree if a felony of the first degree or murder in the first or second degree was charged in the case in which the actor sought to influence or intimidate a witness or victim as specified in this subsection.

(3)  The offense is a felony of the second degree if a felony of the second degree is the most serious offense charged in the case in which the actor sought to influence or intimidate a witness or victim as specified in this subsection.

(4)  The offense is a felony of the third degree in any other case in which the actor sought to influence or intimidate a witness or victim as specified in this subsection.

(5)  Otherwise the offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

18c4952v

(Dec. 10, 2001, P.L.855, No.90, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 4952 is referred to in sections 4909, 4953, 4955, 4956, 5702, 5708, 6105, 9122.1 of this title; sections 5552, 5750 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c4953s

§ 4953.  Retaliation against witness, victim or party.

(a)  Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if he harms another by any unlawful act or engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which threaten another in retaliation for anything lawfully done in the capacity of witness, victim or a party in a civil matter.

(b)  Grading.--The offense is a felony of the third degree if the retaliation is accomplished by any of the means specified in section 4952(b)(1) through (5) (relating to intimidation of witnesses or victims). Otherwise the offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

18c4953v

(Dec. 20, 2000, P.L.837, No.117, eff. imd.)

 

Cross References.  Section 4953 is referred to in sections 4955, 4956, 5702, 5708, 6105, 9122.1 of this title; section 5552 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c4953.1s

§ 4953.1.  Retaliation against prosecutor or judicial official.

(a)  Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if he harms or attempts to harm another or the tangible property of another by any unlawful act in retaliation for anything lawfully done in the official capacity of a prosecutor or judicial official.

(b)  Grading.--The offense is a felony of the second degree if:

(1)  The actor employs force, violence or deception or attempts or threatens to employ force, violence or deception upon the prosecutor or judicial official or, with the requisite intent or knowledge, upon any other person.

(2)  The actor's conduct is in furtherance of a conspiracy to retaliate against a prosecutor or judicial official.

(3)  The actor solicits another to or accepts or agrees to accept any pecuniary or other benefit to retaliate against a prosecutor or judicial official.

(4)  The actor has suffered any prior conviction for any violation of this title or any predecessor law hereto or has been convicted under any Federal statute or statute of any other state of an act which would be a violation of this title if committed in this Commonwealth.

(5)  The actor causes property damage or loss in excess of $1,000.

Otherwise, the offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(c)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Judicial official."  Any person who is a:

(1)  judge of the court of common pleas;

(2)  judge of the Commonwealth Court;

(3)  judge of the Superior Court;

(4)  justice of the Supreme Court;

(5)  magisterial district judge;

(6)  judge of the Pittsburgh Magistrate's Court;

(7)  judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court;

(8)  judge of the Traffic Court of Philadelphia; or

(9)  master appointed by a judge of a court of common pleas.

"Prosecutor."  Any person who is:

(1)  an Attorney General;

(2)  a deputy attorney general;

(3)  a district attorney; or

(4)  an assistant district attorney.

18c4953.1v

(Dec. 21, 1998, P.L.1245, No.159, eff. 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  Act 207 amended subsec. (c). See section 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to construction of law.

1998 Amendment.  Act 159 added section 4953.1.

18c4954s

§ 4954.  Protective orders.

Any court with jurisdiction over any criminal matter may, after a hearing and in its discretion, upon substantial evidence, which may include hearsay or the declaration of the prosecutor that a witness or victim has been intimidated or is reasonably likely to be intimidated, issue protective orders, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1)  An order that a defendant not violate any provision of this subchapter or section 2709 (relating to harassment) or 2709.1 (relating to stalking).

(2)  An order that a person other than the defendant, including, but not limited to, a subpoenaed witness, not violate any provision of this subchapter.

(3)  An order that any person described in paragraph (1) or (2) maintain a prescribed geographic distance from any specified witness or victim.

(4)  An order that any person described in paragraph (1) or (2) have no communication whatsoever with any specified witness or victim, except through an attorney under such reasonable restrictions as the court may impose.

18c4954v

(June 23, 1993, P.L.124, No.28, eff. imd.; Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1759, No.218, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 4954 is referred to in sections 2709.1, 4954.1, 4955, 4956 of this title; section 6711 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations); section 8127 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c4954.1s

§ 4954.1.  Notice on protective order.

All protective orders issued under section 4954 (relating to protective orders) shall contain in large print at the top of the order a notice that the witness or victim should immediately call the police if the defendant violates the protective order. The notice shall contain the telephone number of the police department where the victim or witness resides and where the victim or witness is employed.

18c4954.1v

(June 23, 1993, P.L.124, No.28, eff. imd.)

 

1993 Amendment.  Act 28 added section 4954.1.

18c4955s

§ 4955.  Violation of orders.

(a)  Punishment.--Any person violating any order made pursuant to section 4954 (relating to protective orders) may be punished in any of the following ways:

(1)  For any substantive offense described in this subchapter, where such violation of an order is a violation of any provision of this subchapter.

(2)  As a contempt of the court making such order. No finding of contempt shall be a bar to prosecution for a substantive offense under section 2709 (relating to harassment), 2709.1 (relating to stalking), 4952 (relating to intimidation of witnesses or victims) or 4953 (relating to retaliation against witness or victim), but:

(i)  any person so held in contempt shall be entitled to credit for any punishment imposed therein against any sentence imposed on conviction of said substantive offense; and

(ii)  any conviction or acquittal for any substantive offense under this title shall be a bar to subsequent punishment for contempt arising out of the same act.

(3)  By revocation of any form of pretrial release, or the forfeiture of bail and the issuance of a bench warrant for the defendant's arrest or remanding him to custody. Revocation may, after hearing and on substantial evidence, in the sound discretion of the court, be made whether the violation of order complained of has been committed by the defendant personally or was caused or encouraged to have been committed by the defendant.

(b)  Arrest.--An arrest for a violation of an order issued under section 4954 may be without warrant upon probable cause whether or not the violation is committed in the presence of a law enforcement officer. The law enforcement officer may verify, if necessary, the existence of a protective order by telephone or radio communication with the appropriate police department.

(c)  Arraignment.--Subsequent to an arrest, the defendant shall be taken without unnecessary delay before the court that issued the order. When that court is unavailable, the defendant shall be arraigned before a magisterial district judge or, in cities of the first class, a Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge, in accordance with the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure.

18c4955v

(June 23, 1993, P.L.124, No.28, eff. imd.; Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1759, No.218, eff. 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  Act 207 amended subsec. (c). See section 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to construction of law.

2002 Amendment.  Act 218 amended subsec. (a)(2).

Cross References.  Section 4955 is referred to in section 4956 of this title.

18c4956s

§ 4956.  Pretrial release.

(a)  Conditions for pretrial release.--Any pretrial release of any defendant whether on bail or under any other form of recognizance shall be deemed, as a matter of law, to include a condition that the defendant neither do, nor cause to be done, nor permit to be done on his behalf, any act proscribed by section 4952 (relating to intimidation of witnesses or victims) or 4953 (relating to retaliation against witness or victim) and any willful violation of said condition is subject to punishment as prescribed in section 4955(3) (relating to violation of orders) whether or not the defendant was the subject of an order under section 4954 (relating to protective orders).

(b)  Notice of condition.--From and after the effective date of this subchapter, any receipt for any bail or bond given by the clerk of any court, by any court, by any surety or bondsman and any written promise to appear on one's own recognizance shall contain, in a conspicuous location, notice of this condition.

18c4957s

§ 4957.  Protection of employment of crime victims, family members of victims and witnesses.

(a)  General rule.--An employer shall not deprive an employee of his employment, seniority position or benefits, or threaten or otherwise coerce him with respect thereto, because the employee attends court by reason of being a victim of, or a witness to, a crime or a member of such victim's family. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the employer to compensate the employee for employment time lost because of such court attendance.

(b)  Penalty.--An employer who violates subsection (a) commits a summary offense.

(c)  Civil remedy available.--If an employer penalizes an employee in violation of subsection (a), the employee may bring a civil action for recovery of wages and benefits lost as a result of the violation and for an order requiring the reinstatement of the employee. Damages recoverable shall not exceed wages and benefits actually lost. If he prevails, the employee shall be allowed a reasonable attorney fee fixed by the court.

(d)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Family."  This term shall have the same meaning as in section 103 of the act of November 24, 1998 (P.L.882, No.111), known as the Crime Victims Act.

"Victim."  This term shall have the same meaning as "direct victim" in section 103 of the act of November 24, 1998 (P.L.882, No.111), known as the Crime Victims Act.

18c4957v

(Oct. 22, 1986, P.L.1451, No.142, eff. 60 days; June 28, 2002, P.L.494, No.84, eff. 60 days)

 

2002 Amendment.  Act 84 amended the section heading and subsec. (a) and added subsec. (d).

1986 Amendment.  Act 142 added section 4957.

18c4958s

§ 4958.  Intimidation, retaliation or obstruction in child abuse cases.

(a)  Intimidation.--A person commits an offense if:

(1)  The person has knowledge or intends that the person's conduct under paragraph (2) will obstruct, impede, impair, prevent or interfere with the making of a child abuse report or the conducting of an investigation into suspected child abuse under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to child protective services) or prosecuting a child abuse case.

(2)  The person intimidates or attempts to intimidate any reporter, victim or witness to engage in any of the following actions:

(i)  Refrain from making a report of suspected child abuse or not cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made.

(ii)  Refrain from providing or withholding information, documentation, testimony or evidence to any person regarding a child abuse investigation or proceeding.

(iii)  Give false or misleading information, documentation, testimony or evidence to any person regarding a child abuse investigation or proceeding.

(iv)  Elude, evade or ignore any request or legal process summoning the reporter, victim or witness to appear to testify or supply evidence regarding a child abuse investigation or proceeding.

(v)  Fail to appear at or participate in a child abuse proceeding or meeting involving a child abuse investigation to which the reporter, victim or witness has been legally summoned.

(b)  Retaliation.--A person commits an offense if the person harms another person by any unlawful act or engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which threaten another person in retaliation for anything that the other person has lawfully done in the capacity of a reporter, witness or victim of child abuse.

(b.1)  Obstruction.--In addition to any other penalty provided by law, a person commits an offense if, with intent to prevent a public servant from investigating or prosecuting a report of child abuse under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63, the person by any scheme or device or in any other manner obstructs, interferes with, impairs, impedes or perverts the investigation or prosecution of child abuse.

(c)  Grading.--

(1)  An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree if:

(i)  The actor employs force, violence or deception or threatens to employ force, violence or deception upon the reporter, witness or victim or, with reckless intent or knowledge, upon any other person.

(ii)  The actor offers pecuniary or other benefit to the reporter, witness or victim.

(iii)  The actor's conduct is in furtherance of a conspiracy to intimidate or retaliate against the reporter, witness or victim.

(iv)  The actor accepts, agrees or solicits another person to accept any pecuniary benefit to intimidate or retaliate against the reporter, witness or victim.

(v)  The actor has suffered a prior conviction for a violation of this section or has been convicted under a Federal statute or statute of any other state of an act which would be a violation of this section if committed in this Commonwealth.

(2)  An offense not otherwise addressed in paragraph (1) is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

(d)  Definitions.--The following words and phrases when used in this section shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Child abuse."  As defined in 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303(b.1) (relating to definitions).

"Mandated reporter."  As defined in 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303(a).

"Public servant."  As defined in section 4501 (relating to definitions).

"Reporter."  A person, including a mandated reporter, having reasonable cause to suspect that a child under 18 years of age is a victim of child abuse.

18c4958v

(Dec. 18, 2013, P.L.1198, No.118, eff. Jan. 1, 2014)

 

2013 Amendment.  Act 118 added section 4958.

Cross References.  Section 4958 is referred to in section 9122.1 of this title; sections 6311, 6335 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations).