§ 2711.  Probable cause arrests in domestic violence cases.

(a)  General rule.--A police officer shall have the same right of arrest without a warrant as in a felony whenever he has probable cause to believe the defendant has violated section 2504 (relating to involuntary manslaughter), 2701 (relating to simple assault), 2702(a)(3), (4) and (5) (relating to aggravated assault), 2705 (relating to recklessly endangering another person), 2706 (relating to terroristic threats), 2709.1 (relating to stalking) or 2718 (relating to strangulation) against a family or household member although the offense did not take place in the presence of the police officer. A police officer may not arrest a person pursuant to this section without first observing recent physical injury to the victim or other corroborative evidence. For the purposes of this subsection, the term "family or household member" has the meaning given that term in 23 Pa.C.S. § 6102 (relating to definitions).

(b)  Seizure of weapons.--The arresting police officer shall seize all weapons used by the defendant in the commission of the alleged offense.

(c)  Bail.--

(1)  A defendant arrested pursuant to this section shall be afforded a preliminary arraignment by the proper issuing authority without unnecessary delay. In no case shall the arresting officer release the defendant from custody rather than taking the defendant before the issuing authority.

(2)  In determining whether to admit the defendant to bail, the issuing authority shall consider whether the defendant poses a threat of danger to the victim. In making a determination whether the defendant poses a threat of danger to the victim in cases under this section, the issuing authority may use a pretrial risk assessment tool as set forth in subsection (c.1). If the issuing authority makes such a determination, it shall require as a condition of bail that the defendant shall refrain from entering the residence or household of the victim and the victim's place of employment and shall refrain from committing any further criminal conduct against the victim and shall so notify the defendant thereof at the time the defendant is admitted to bail. Such condition shall expire at the time of the preliminary hearing or upon the entry or the denial of the protection of abuse order by the court, whichever occurs first. A violation of this condition may be punishable by the 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 or a modification of the terms of the bail. The defendant shall be provided a hearing on this matter.

(c.1)  Pretrial risk assessment tool.--The president judge of a court of common pleas may adopt a pretrial risk assessment tool for use by the court of common pleas or by the Philadelphia Municipal Court, the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court or magisterial district judges when acting as the issuing authority in cases under this section. The issuing authority may use the pretrial risk assessment tool to aid in determining whether the defendant poses a threat of danger to the victim. However, the pretrial risk assessment tool may not be the only means of determining whether to admit the defendant to bail. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to conflict with the issuing authority's ability to determine whether to admit the defendant to bail under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(c.2)  Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.--The following apply to the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing:

(1)  The commission shall develop a model pretrial risk assessment tool which may be used by the issuing authority in cases under this section, as set forth in subsection (c.1).

(2)  Subject to any inconsistent rule of court, in order to ensure that the model pretrial risk assessment tool or other pretrial risk assessment tool adopted under this section is effective, accurate and free from racial or economic bias, prior to the adoption of the tool, the commission shall publish a report of validation using information from cases from the judicial district where the tool is to be utilized. The report shall be updated every two years.

(d)  Notice of rights.--Upon responding to a domestic violence case, the police officer shall, orally or in writing, notify the victim of the availability of a shelter, including its telephone number, or other services in the community. Said notice shall include the following statement: "If you are the victim of domestic violence, you have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an order for protection from domestic abuse pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61 (relating to protection from abuse) which could include the following:

(1)  An order restraining the abuser from further acts of abuse.

(2)  An order directing the abuser to leave your household.

(3)  An order preventing the abuser from entering your residence, school, business or place of employment.

(4)  An order awarding you or the other parent temporary custody of or temporary visitation with your child or children.

(5)  An order directing the abuser to pay support to you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so."


(Feb. 15, 1986, P.L.27, No.10, eff. 60 days; Dec. 19, 1990, P.L.1240, No.206, eff. 90 days; Dec. 20, 2000, P.L.728, No.101, eff. 60 days; Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1759, No.218, eff. 60 days; Apr. 16, 2018, P.L.89, No.14)


2018 Amendment.  Act 14 amended subsecs. (a) and (c)(2) and added subsecs. (c.1) and (c.2), effective in 60 days as to subsecs. (a), (c)(2), (c.1) and (c.2)(1) and two years as to subsec. (c.2)(2).

1990 Amendment.  Act 206 amended subsec. (d).

Cross References.  Section 2711 is referred to in section 6108.7 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations).