Information Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Information, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Information?

It is a formal charge, complain or accusation made in writing by a public prosecutor or an attorney against a person for the crime commited by him/her. It is done so without the Jury indictment. The plaintiff have to have sufficient evidence to prove the defendant guilty or else the judge may dismiss the complain without a trial.

History and Meaning of Information

An information is a formal accusation made in writing by a public prosecutor charging someone with a crime, often without the need for a grand jury indictment. This process is generally seen in common law jurisdictions, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

In the early days of the English legal system, a grand jury indictment was required for all felony offenses. However, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a push towards simplifying the process for charging individuals with crimes. This led to the creation of the "information," which allowed prosecutors to charge individuals without a grand jury indictment.

Examples of Information

  1. A district attorney in the United States files an information against an individual, accusing them of embezzlement.
  2. A Crown Prosecutor in the United Kingdom files an information in a case where the evidence against the accused is strong, but not enough for a grand jury indictment.
  3. An attorney general in Australia files an information in a criminal case where a serious offense has been committed, but a grand jury is not available.

Legal Terms Similar to Information

  1. Grand Jury Indictment - A formal charging document issued by a grand jury after considering the evidence and determining that there is probable cause to believe that the accused committed the crime.
  2. Complaint - A formal charging document filed by a victim or witness in a criminal case.
  3. Information and Belief - A combination of an information and a complaint, which allows a prosecutor to charge an individual with a crime based on both their knowledge of the facts and their belief that the individual committed the crime.