The first step when analyzing a “Rule 600” issue is to determine whether the Commonwealth committed a technical violation of Rule 600. In order to determine whether a technical violation has occurred, the court must determine the “mechanical run date” of the case. The mechanical run date is the last date the Commonwealth is permitted to bring the defendant to trial. In cases dealing with a defendant who is not incarcerated, the mechanical run date is three hundred sixty-five days from the filing of the written complaint. In cases dealing with a defendant who is incarcerated, the mechanical run date is one hundred eighty days from the date of incarceration.
If the court determines that the Commonwealth has committed a technical violation of the Accused’s Rule 600 rights, the Court must determine if any time is “excludable” or attributable to the accused. Any time the accused requests a continuance or is a fugitive or his whereabouts were unknown to the Commonwealth, that period of time gets added on to the “mechanical run date.”
If the Commonwealth claims the accused’s whereabouts were unknown, the Commonwealth must show that it performed due diligence to find the accused.
If the Commonwealth is not entitled to any excludable time or did not do its due diligence to locate the accused, a person incarcerated is entitled to release on $1 nominal bail and a violation of Rule 600 for failing to bring the accused to trial in three hundred sixty five days could result in dismissal of the case.