§ 6355. Transfer to criminal proceedings.
(a) General rule.--After a petition has been filed alleging delinquency based on conduct which is designated a crime or public offense under the laws, including local ordinances, of this Commonwealth, the court before hearing the petition on its merits may rule that this chapter is not applicable and that the offense should be prosecuted, and transfer the offense, where appropriate, to the division or a judge of the court assigned to conduct criminal proceedings, for prosecution of the offense if all of the following exist:
(1) The child was 14 or more years of age at the time of the alleged conduct.
(2) A hearing on whether the transfer should be made is held in conformity with this chapter.
(3) Notice in writing of the time, place, and purpose of the hearing is given to the child and his parents, guardian, or other custodian at least three days before the hearing.
(4) The court finds:
(i) that there is a prima facie case that the child committed the delinquent act alleged;
(ii) that the delinquent act would be considered a felony if committed by an adult;
(iii) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the public interest is served by the transfer of the case for criminal prosecution. In determining whether the public interest can be served, the court shall consider the following factors:
(A) the impact of the offense on the victim or victims;
(B) the impact of the offense on the community;
(C) the threat to the safety of the public or any individual posed by the child;
(D) the nature and circumstances of the offense allegedly committed by the child;
(E) the degree of the child's culpability;
(F) the adequacy and duration of dispositional alternatives available under this chapter and in the adult criminal justice system; and
(G) whether the child is amenable to treatment, supervision or rehabilitation as a juvenile by considering the following factors:
(II) mental capacity;
(IV) the degree of criminal sophistication exhibited by the child;
(V) previous records, if any;
(VI) the nature and extent of any prior delinquent history, including the success or failure of any previous attempts by the juvenile court to rehabilitate the child;
(VII) whether the child can be rehabilitated prior to the expiration of the juvenile court jurisdiction;
(VIII) probation or institutional reports, if any;
(IX) any other relevant factors; and
(iv) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the child is not committable to an institution for the mentally retarded or mentally ill.
(b) Chapter inapplicable following transfer.--The transfer terminates the applicability of this chapter over the child with respect to the delinquent acts alleged in the petition.
(c) Transfer at request of child.--The child may request that the case be transferred for prosecution in which event the court may order this chapter not applicable.
(d) Effect of transfer from criminal proceedings.--No hearing shall be conducted where this chapter becomes applicable because of a previous determination by the court in a criminal proceeding.
(e) Murder and other excluded acts.--Where the petition alleges conduct which if proven would constitute murder, or any of the offenses excluded by paragraph (2)(ii) or (iii) of the definition of "delinquent act" in section 6302 (relating to definitions), the court shall require the offense to be prosecuted under the criminal law and procedures, except where the case has been transferred pursuant to section 6322 (relating to transfer from criminal proceedings) from the division or a judge of the court assigned to conduct criminal proceedings.
(f) Transfer action interlocutory.--The decision of the court to transfer or not to transfer the case shall be interlocutory.
(g) Burden of proof.--The burden of establishing by a preponderance of evidence that the public interest is served by the transfer of the case to criminal court and that a child is not amenable to treatment, supervision or rehabilitation as a juvenile shall rest with the Commonwealth unless the following apply:
(1) (i) a deadly weapon as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 2301 (relating to definitions) was used and the child was 14 years of age at the time of the offense; or
(ii) the child was 15 years of age or older at the time of the offense and was previously adjudicated delinquent of a crime that would be considered a felony if committed by an adult; and
(2) there is a prima facie case that the child committed a delinquent act which, if committed by an adult, would be classified as rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated assault as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 2702(a)(1) or (2) (relating to aggravated assault), robbery as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3701(a)(1)(i), (ii) or (iii) (relating to robbery), robbery of motor vehicle, aggravated indecent assault, kidnapping, voluntary manslaughter, an attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit any of these crimes or an attempt to commit murder as specified in paragraph (2)(ii) of the definition of "delinquent act" in section 6302.
If either of the preceding criteria are met, the burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that retaining the case under this chapter serves the public interest and that the child is amenable to treatment, supervision or rehabilitation as a juvenile shall rest with the child.
(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff 60 days; Feb. 29, 1980, P.L.36, No.12, eff. 60 days; Nov. 17, 1995, 1st Sp.Sess., P.L.1127, No.33, eff. 120 days)
1995 Amendment. Act 33, 1st Sp.Sess., amended subsecs. (a)(4) and (e) and added subsec. (g). Section 8 of Act 33, 1st Sp.Sess., provided that Act 33 shall apply to all delinquent acts committed on or after the effective date of Act 33.
1980 Amendment. Act 12 amended subsec. (a).
Suspension by Court Rule. Subsection (g) was suspended by Pennsylvania Rule of Juvenile Court Procedure No. 800(17), amended July 18, 2012, insofar as it is inconsistent with Rule 394, relating to transfer hearing.
Cross References. Section 6355 is referred to in sections 6308, 6322, 6337.1, 6339 of this title.