Determining When Offenses Are Logically Related to One Another

In Commonwealth v. Hude, 500 Pa. 482, 458 A.2d 177 (1983), the Supreme Court held that in order for there to be a "single criminal episode," the convictions must be "logically and temporally related:" In ascertaining whether a number of statutory offenses are 'logically related' to one another, the court should initially inquire as to whether there is a substantial duplication of factual, and/or legal issues presented by the offenses. If there is duplication, then the offenses are logically related and must be prosecuted at one trial. The mere fact that the additional statutory offenses involve additional issues of law or fact is not sufficient to create a separate criminal episode since the logical relationship test does not require 'an absolute identity of factual backgrounds.' The temporal relationship between criminal acts will be a factor which frequently determines whether the acts are 'logically related.' However, the definition of a 'single criminal episode' should not be limited to acts which are immediately connected in time. As the United States Supreme Court recognized in Moore v. New York Cotton Exchange 270 U.S. 593, 610, 46 S. Ct. 367, 371, 70 L. Ed. 750 (1926) 'Transaction is a word of flexible meaning. It may comprehend a series of many occurrences, depending not so much upon the immediateness of their connection as upon their logical relationship.' It is submitted that by requiring that criminal acts be logically related, the courts will be better able to implement the policies which the 'single criminal episode' test is designed to promote. Hude, 500 Pa. at 491-492, 458 A.2d at 181-182 (quoting Comment, Commonwealth v. Campana and Section 110 of the Crimes Code: Fraternal Twins, 35 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 275, 286-287 (1973)).