[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of West Whiteland 3-14-2006 by Ord. No. 336. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8902, effective January 17, 1996, a police officer shall, upon view, have the right of arrest without a warrant for certain summary offenses, upon probable cause, when there is ongoing conduct that imperils the personal security of any person or endangers public or private property, provided such arrests are authorized by rules promulgated by the governmental body employing the police officer.
If a police officer has probable cause to believe that there is a violation of one or more of the four offenses listed below, that the defendant's conduct is ongoing, that the conduct constituting the crime is based upon the police officer's view of the conduct, and if the conduct imperils the personal security of any person or endangers public or private property, the officer shall have the right to arrest a defendant without a warrant.
The four summary offenses pursuant to Title 18 are as follows:
Any officer making an arrest under these guidelines shall also follow those procedures set forth in the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, and in particular Rule 441, said rule currently providing as follows:
When a defendant has been arrested without a warrant, the arresting officer may, when the officer deems it appropriate, promptly release the defendant from custody when the following conditions have been met:
The defendant is a resident of the commonwealth;
The defendant poses no threat of immediate physical harm to any other person or to himself or herself;
The arresting officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant will appear as required; and
The defendant does not demand to be taken before an issuing authority.
When the defendant has not been released from custody under Subsection B, the defendant shall be taken without unnecessary delay before the issuing authority, where a citation shall be filed against the defendant, and:
The defendant shall enter a plea.
If the defendant pleads guilty, the issuing authority shall impose sentence. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the defendant shall be given an immediate trial unless:
The Commonwealth is not ready to proceed or the defendant requests a postponement or is not capable of proceeding, and in any of these circumstances, the defendant shall be given the opportunity to deposit collateral for appearance on the new date and hour fixed for trial; or
The defendant's criminal record must be ascertained before trial as specifically required by statute for purposes of grading the offenses charged, in which event the defendant shall be given the opportunity to deposit collateral for appearance on the new date and hour fixed for the trial, which shall be after the issuing authority's receipt of the required information.
If the defendant is under 18 years of age and cannot be given an immediate trial, the issuing authority promptly shall notify the defendant and defendant's parents, guardian, or other custodian of the date set for the summary trial, and shall release the defendant on his or her own recognizance.
The Board of Supervisors recognizes that Rule 441 and 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8902 may be amended from time to time. It is the intention of the Board of Supervisors that the police officers follow the terms of the rule or statute that is currently in effect as of the date of the arrest, whether or not these guidelines have been formerly amended to comply with any rule or statute changes.
It is not the intention of the Board of Supervisors to modify, restrict or otherwise prohibit a police officer of the Township of West Whiteland from making other warrantless arrests for summary offenses where such arrests have been expressly authorized by any other rule or statute.