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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JERALD WILLIAM DONALDSON (02/22/85)

filed: February 22, 1985.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
JERALD WILLIAM DONALDSON



No. 579 Pittsburgh, 1983, Appeal from the Order of April 8, 1983, Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Criminal Division at No. CC 8209586A.

COUNSEL

Dara A. DeCourey, Assistant District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, appellant.

John H. Corbett, Jr., Public Defender, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Brosky, Rowley and Johnson, JJ.

Author: Johnson

[ 339 Pa. Super. Page 239]

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania takes this appeal from the order of the trial court quashing that part of the Information which charged defendant, Jerald William Donaldson, with felony Aggravated Assault under 18 Pa.C.S. § 2702(a)(1), and which amended this Information to charge defendant with misdemeanor Aggravated Assault under 18 Pa.C.S. § 2702(a)(4).*fn1 The Commonwealth argues that the court erred in holding that the police complaint did not afford defendant sufficient notice of the charge of felony Aggravated Assault. We agree with the Commonwealth and reverse.

The parameters for a properly drafted Information are set forth in Pa.R.Crim.P. 225 which, in relevant part, reads:

(b) The information shall be signed by the attorney for the Commonwealth and shall be valid and sufficient in law if it contains:

(5) 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 . . . .

Rule 225(b)(5) does not require that the crime charged in the Information be identical to that charged in the Complaint as long as the charge is cognate to the one laid in the Complaint. Commonwealth v. Taylor, 324 Pa. Super. 420, 471 A.2d 1228 (1984); Commonwealth v. Wilkinson, 278 Pa. Super. 490, 420 A.2d 647 (1980); Commonwealth v. El, 273 Pa. Super. 1, 416 A.2d 1058 (1979); Commonwealth v. Epps, 260 Pa. Super. 57, 393 A.2d 1010 (1978).

In Wilkinson, supra, we wrote:

As stated in Commonwealth v. Cortes, 182 Pa. Super. 602, 605, 128 A.2d 155, 156 (1956), "The police and other law enforcement officers and justices of the peace who formulate the complaints are not expected to be ...


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