2. Criminal law. A formal charge accusing a person of an offense. Fed. R. Crim. P. 3. 
2. A formal charge of a crime. 
1. A formal charging instrument by which a person is accused of a crime, usually a misdemeanor or violation in a sworn statement.
fresh complaint – Criminal law. A reasonably prompt lodging of a grievance, especially, a victim’s prompt report of a sexual assault to someone trustworthy. — aka first complaint; prompt complaint; prompt outcry.
fresh-complaint rule – (1952) Evidence. The principle that the testimony of a witness whom a victim of a sex crime promptly told about the crime is admissible to corroborate the victim’s claim that a crime occurred. * The testimony is admissible to show that the complaint was made promptly, not for the truth of matter stated in the complaint. The theory is that sexual-assault victim’s credibility is bolstered if the victim reports the assault soon after it occurs. Most courts no longer recognize this theory.