Current through Register Vol. 53, No. 46, November 18, 2023
Rule 404 - Character Evidence; Other Crimes, Wrongs, or Acts(a)Character Evidence.(1)Prohibited Uses. Evidence of a person's character or character trait is not admissible to prove that on a particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the character or trait.(2)Exceptions for a Defendant or Victim in a Criminal Case. The following exceptions apply in a criminal case:(A) a defendant may offer evidence of the defendant's pertinent trait, and if the evidence is admitted, the prosecutor may offer evidence to rebut it;(B) subject to limitations imposed by statute a defendant may offer evidence of an alleged victim's pertinent trait, and if the evidence is admitted the prosecutor may: (i) offer evidence to rebut it; and(ii) offer evidence of the defendant's same trait; and(C) in a homicide case, the prosecutor may offer evidence of the alleged victim's trait of peacefulness to rebut evidence that the victim was the first aggressor.(3)Exceptions for a Witness. Evidence of a witness's character may be admitted under Rules 607, 608, and 609.(4)Exception in a Civil Action for Assault and Battery. In a civil action for assault and battery, evidence of the plaintiff's character trait for violence may be admitted when offered by the defendant to rebut evidence that the defendant was the first aggressor.(b)Other Crimes, Wrongs,orActs. (1)Prohibited Uses. Evidence of any other crime, wrong, or act is not admissible to prove a person's character in order to show that on a particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the character.(2)Permitted Uses. This evidence may be admissible for another purpose, such as proving motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake, or lack of accident. In a criminal case this evidence is admissible only if the probative value of the evidence outweighs its potential for unfair prejudice.(3)Notice in a Criminal Case. In a criminal case the prosecutor must provide reasonable written notice in advance of trial so that the defendant has a fair opportunity to meet it, or during trial if the court excuses pretrial notice on good cause shown, of the specific nature, permitted use, and reasoning for the use of any such evidence the prosecutor intends to introduce at trial.The provisions of this Rule 404 amended November 2, 2001, effective 1/1/2002, 31 Pa.B. 6381; amended February 28, 2006, effective immediately, 36 Pa.B. 1213 (March 18, 2006); rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective in sixty days, 43 Pa.B. 620; amended December 2, 2021, effective 4/1/2022, 51 Pa.B. 7858.