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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
Commonwealth v. Biagini
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Officer Snyder was on patrol when he heard yelling and saw Bruce Biagini (Defendant) stagger out from between two houses. When Snyder approached and asked about the shouting, Defendant said that nothing was wrong and went inside his house. Two nearby individuals told Snyder that Defendant had been screaming at them and had thrown a glass bottle. Snyder returned to Defendant’s house and knocked on the door. Snyder asked Defendant to go outside, but Defendant refused and angrily told Snyder to leave. Snyder attempted to arrest Defendant for public intoxication and disorderly conduct, but Defendant escaped from Snyder’s grasp and went back inside. Snyder called for backup and again knocked on the door. Defendant again refused to go outside, and when Snyder attempted the arrest, Defendant struggled with and punched Snyder but was soon restrained by backup officers. Defendant was charged with public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, aggravated assault, and resisting arrest. Under Pennsylvania law, a defendant commits the crime of resisting arrest when creating a substantial risk of harm with the intention of preventing a public servant from effecting a lawful arrest. In addition, § 505(b)(1)(i) states that the use of force is not justifiable to resist an arrest that a defendant knows is being made by a police officer, even if the arrest is unlawful. At trial, Defendant argued for dismissal of all charges on the grounds that the arrest was illegal. Defendant was convicted of all charges. After trial, Defendant again moved for dismissal, but the trial court denied the motion, concluding that the arrest was lawful. Defendant appealed, and the court held that the arrest for disorderly conduct and public intoxication was unlawful, because Defendant’s actions did not rise to the level of endangering himself or others. However, the conviction for resisting arrest was affirmed.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.