Information – a complaint or affidavit, made by a prosecutor, alleging probable cause to suspect a crime, in order to bind a defendant over, to await action by the grand jury

     This page is continued from Criminal Law Self-Help >>>> Criminal Pleadings:



1. Criminal procedure. A formal criminal charge made by a prosecutor without a grand-jury indictment.  See Fed. R. Crim. P. 7 *  The information is used to prosecute misdemeanors in most states, and about half the states allow its use in felony prosecutions as well. — aka bill of information. [1]

1. An accusation of the commission of a crime, otherwise known as a complaint or affidavit, upon which an accused is brought to trial and prosecuted for a misdemeanor or trivial offense or, if a felony is charged, whether there is probable cause for the accusation so that the accused should be held for, or bound ever, to await the action of, the grand jury. 2 Am J2d Crim L § 441.

In another sense of the term, a written accusation of crime preferred by a public prosecuting officer without the intervention of a grand jury. 27 Am J1st Indict 7.
See libel of information. [2]

1. An accusation of the commission of a crime, sworn to by a district attorney or other prosecutor, on the basis of which a criminal defendant is brought to trial for a misdemeanor and, in some states, for a felony.

2. In some jurisdictions, which prosecute felonies only on the basis of indictment by a grand jury, an affidavit alleging probable cause to bind the defendant over to await action by the grand jury.
See binding over.

3. Knowledge of acquired facts. [3]

Various Types of Information Pleadings:

duplicitous information (1912) An information that charges two or more offenses as one count.

substitute information in lieu of indictment (1936) An information that the prosecutor files to take the place of a previously returned indictment, usu. because the indictment is defective or because the prosecutor has added, altered, or deleted facts and allegations.

superseding information (1910) A second or later information that includes additional charges or corrects errors in an earlier one.

information and belief – A phrase used in the law to limit a declaration (EXAMPLES: a complaint; an allegation) so that it is understood to be made upon information believed to be true as opposed to information known to be true.  A district attorney swears to an information “upon information and belief.” [3]

upon information and belief – 1. Qualifying a statement as made, not as a fact, but as believed to be true from information.  5 Am J2d Arr § 14. [2]  1. A term used by a declarant to indicate that his statement is not intended as a statement of fact, but merely what he believes to be the fact or has been informed is the fact. [3]

allegation upon information and belief – Allegations in an affidavit in the form of statement to the best of the affiant’s information and belief, not as of a certainty.  3 Am J2d Affi § 22. [2]


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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