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information

n. an accusation or criminal charge brought by the public prosecutor (District Attorney) without a Grand Jury indictment. This "information" must state the alleged crimes in writing and must be delivered to the defendant at the first court appearance (arraignment). If the accusation is for a felony, there must be a preliminary hearing within a short period (such as five days) in which the prosecution is required to present enough evidence to convince the judge holding the hearing that the crime or crimes charged were committed and the defendant is likely to have committed them. If the judge becomes convinced, the defendant must face trial, and if the judge does not, the case against the defendant is dismissed. Sometimes it is a mixed bag, in that some of the charges in the information are sufficient for trial and the case is sent (remanded) to the appropriate court, and some are dismissed.

See also: charge  felony  Grand Jury  indictment  preliminary hearing  accusation 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications

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