Cases - Pennsylvania

In Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Mayfield, 2003 WL 21246377 (Pa. Super. May 30, 2003) the defendant violated a condition of his bail by committing an assault shortly after release.  The trial court forfeited the bond.  The appellate court reversed.  The court held that in considering remission of forfeiture, a court must consider the willfulness of the defendant’s breach, the cost, inconvenience and prejudice to the government and any explanation or mitigating circumstances.  The Court of Appeals did not think the facts supported forfeiture, but at least the willfulness test should have been met since upon his release the defendant went to his girlfriend’s house and broke her nose.  Because there were no apparent mitigating circumstances, in effect the court held that a bail bond cannot be forfeited unless the government can show prejudice from the defendant’s breach.  There was a dissenting opinion.