PRINTER'S NO. 1235
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
877
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY HUGHES, TARTAGLIONE, KEARNEY AND SCHWANK,
OCTOBER 7, 2019
REFERRED TO JUDICIARY, OCTOBER 7, 2019
AN ACT
Amending Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in depositions and
witnesses, providing for material witness warrants and
exceptions.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 5906. Material witness warrants and exceptions.
(a) General rule.--Except as provided in subsection (b), the
district attorney or defense counsel may motion a court of
competent jurisdiction to issue a material witness warrant when,
in the district attorney's or defense counsel's judgment, the
testimony of a witness is essential to the prosecution or the
defense and that it may become impracticable to secure the
presence of a witness by subpoena. The court shall first attempt
to use the least restrictive means available for securing the
appearance of the witness in court and only jail the witness
when, in the opinion of the court, no other option is
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appropriate based on the circumstances.
(b) Exception.--The district attorney and the defense
counsel may not request a material witness warrant under
subsection (a) to secure the presence of a witness listed as the
crime victim in the indictment or bill of information in a case:
(1) where the instituted charges include an offense
under:
(i) 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 30 Subch. B (relating to
prosecution of human trafficking); or
(ii) 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 31 Subch. B (relating to
definition of offenses);
(2) involving an act of abuse as defined under 23
Pa.C.S. § 6102 (relating to definitions); or
(3) where the crime victim is the current or former
spouse or dating partner of the defendant, regardless of
whether the crime victim resides in the same household as the
defendant.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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