Rule 560. Information: Filing, Contents, Function.
(A) After the defendant has been held for court following a preliminary hearing or an indictment, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall proceed by preparing an information and filing it with the court of common pleas.
(B) The information shall be signed by the attorney for the Commonwealth and shall be valid and sufficient in law if it contains:
(1) a caption showing that the prosecution is carried on in the name of and by the authority of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
(2) the name of the defendant, or if the defendant is unknown, a description of the defendant as nearly as may be;
(3) 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, provided that if the precise date is not known or if the offense is a continuing one, an allegation that it was committed on or about any date within the period fixed by the statute of limitations shall be sufficient;
(4) the county where the offense is alleged to have been committed;
(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;
(6) a concluding statement that all of which is against the Act of Assembly and the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth; and
(7) a certification that the information complies with the provisions of the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania regarding confidential information and documents.
(C) The information shall contain the official or customary citation of the statute and section thereof, or other provision of law that the defendant is alleged therein to have violated; but the omission of or error in such citation shall not affect the validity or sufficiency of the information.
(D) In all court cases tried on an information, the issues at trial shall be defined by such information.
The attorney for the Commonwealth may electronically prepare, sign, and transmit the information for filing.
Before an information is filed, the attorney for the Commonwealth may withdraw one or more of the charges by filing a notice of withdrawal with the clerk of courts. See Rule 561(A). Upon the filing of an information, any charge not listed on the information will be deemed withdrawn by the attorney for the Commonwealth. See Rule 561(B). After the information is filed, court approval is required before a nolle prosequi may be entered on a charge listed therein. See Rule 585.
In any case in which there are summary offenses joined with the misdemeanor, felony, or murder charges that are held for court, the attorney for the Commonwealth must include the summary offenses in the information. See Commonwealth v. Hoffman, 594 A.2d 772 (Pa. Super. 1991).
See Rule 113.1 regarding the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania and the requirements regarding filings and documents that contain confidential information.
When there is an omission or error of the type referred to in paragraph (C), the information should be amended pursuant to Rule 564.
See Rule 543(D) for the procedures when a defendant fails to appear for the preliminary hearing. When the preliminary hearing is held in the defendants absence and the case is held for court, the attorney for the Commonwealth should proceed as provided in this rule.
See Chapter 5 Part E for the procedures governing indicting grand juries. As explained in the Comment to Rule 556.11, when the grand jury indicts the defendant, this is the functional equivalent to holding the defendant for court following a preliminary hearing.
Rule 225 adopted February 15, 1974, effective immediately; Comment revised January 28, 1983, effective July 1, 1983; amended August 14, 1995, effective January 1, 1996; renumbered Rule 560 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; Comment revised April 23, 2004, effective immediately; Comment revised August 24, 2004, effective August 1, 2005; Comment revised March 9, 2006, effective September 1, 2006; amended June 21, 2012, effective in 180 days; amended January 5, 2018, effective January 6, 2018; amended June 1, 2018, effective July 1, 2018.
Committee Explanatory Reports:
Final Report explaining the August 14, 1995 amendments published with the Courts Order at 25 Pa.B. 3468 (August 26, 1995).
Final Report explaining the March 1, 2000 reorganization and renumbering of the rules published with the Courts Order at 30 Pa.B. 1478 (March 18, 2000).
Final Report explaining the April 23, 2004 Comment revision published with the Courts Order at 34 Pa.B. 2543 (May 15, 2004).
Final Report explaining the August 24, 2004 Comment revision concerning failure to appear for preliminary hearing published with the Courts Order at 34 Pa.B. 5025 (September 11, 2004).
Final Report explaining the March 9, 2006 Comment revision concerning joinder of summary offenses with misdemeanor, felony, or murder charges published with the Courts Order at 36 Pa.B. 1392 (March 25, 2006).
Final Report explaining the June 21, 2012 amendments to paragraph (A) concerning indicting grand juries published with the Courts Order at 42 Pa.B. 4153 (July 7, 2012).
Final Report explaining the January 5, 2018 amendment regarding the Courts public access policy published with the Courts Order at 48 Pa.B. 490 (January 20, 2018).
Amendment regarding the Courts public access policy published with the Courts Order at 48 Pa.B. 3575 (June 16, 2018).
The provisions of this Rule 560 amended April 23, 2004, effective immediately, 34 Pa.B. 2543; amended August 24, 2004, effective August 1, 2005, 34 Pa.B. 5016; amended March 9, 2006, effective September 1, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 1385; amended June 21, 2012, effective in 180 days, 42 Pa.B. 4140; amended January 5, 2018, effective January 6, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 487; amended June 1, 2018, effective July 1, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 3575. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (390252) to (390253).
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