2016 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
Chapter 97 - Sentencing
Section 9781 - Appellate review of sentence

42 PA Cons Stat § 9781 (2016) What's This?
§ 9781. Appellate review of sentence.

(a) Right to appeal.--The defendant or the Commonwealth may appeal as of right the legality of the sentence.

(b) Allowance of appeal.--The defendant or the Commonwealth may file a petition for allowance of appeal of the discretionary aspects of a sentence for a felony or a misdemeanor to the appellate court that has initial jurisdiction for such appeals. Allowance of appeal may be granted at the discretion of the appellate court where it appears that there is a substantial question that the sentence imposed is not appropriate under this chapter.

(c) Determination on appeal.--The appellate court shall vacate the sentence and remand the case to the sentencing court with instructions if it finds:

(1) the sentencing court purported to sentence within the sentencing guidelines but applied the guidelines erroneously;

(2) the sentencing court sentenced within the sentencing guidelines but the case involves circumstances where the application of the guidelines would be clearly unreasonable; or

(3) the sentencing court sentenced outside the sentencing guidelines and the sentence is unreasonable.

In all other cases the appellate court shall affirm the sentence imposed by the sentencing court.

(d) Review of record.--In reviewing the record the appellate court shall have regard for:

(1) The nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant.

(2) The opportunity of the sentencing court to observe the defendant, including any presentence investigation.

(3) The findings upon which the sentence was based.

(4) The guidelines promulgated by the commission.

(e) Right to bail not enlarged.--Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to enlarge the defendant's right to bail pending appeal.

(f) Limitation on additional appellate review.--No appeal of the discretionary aspects of the sentence shall be permitted beyond the appellate court that has initial jurisdiction for such appeals.

(g) Implementing rules of court.--(Repealed).

(Oct. 5, 1980, P.L.693, No.142, eff. 60 days)

1980 Repeal. Act 142 repealed subsec. (g).

Effective Date. Section 218(b) of Act 142 of 1980 provided that the provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. § 1386 (redesignated by Act 142 as 42 Pa.C.S. § 9781) shall take effect upon the effective date of initial sentencing guidelines pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 2155(c). The initial sentencing guidelines, as revised, were adopted January 5, 1982, and became effective July 22, 1982.

Cross References. Section 9781 is referred to in section 724 of this title.

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