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Pennsylvania Law re: Criminal Information

Pennsylvania law provides that the attorney for the Commonwealth is required to prepare a Criminal Information in any case that is held for trial in the Court of Common Pleas.

The attorney for the Commonwealth shall sign the information.  The information is valid and sufficient if it contains:

a caption showing that the prosecution is carried on in the name of and by the authority of the Commonwealth of PA; the name of the defendant or if the defendant is unknownm a description of the defnednat as nearly as may be; the date when the offense is alleged to have been committed if the precise date is known and the day of the week if it is an essential element of the offense charged, if the precise date is unknown then a statement that the offense was committed on or about any date within the period fixed by the statute of limitations; the county where the offense is alleged to have been committed; a plain and concise statement of the essential elements of the offense substantially the same as or cognate to the offense alleged in the complaint; and a concluding statement that "all of which is against the Act of the Assembly and the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth."

The information in a criminal case is vital, because the issues at trial are limited to the contents of the criminal information.

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