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To impose a burden, duty, obligation, or lien; to create a claim against property; to assess; to demand; to accuse; to instruct a jury on matters of law. To impose a tax, duty, or trust. To entrust with responsibilities and duties (e.g., care of another). In commercial transactions, to bill or invoice; to purchase on credit. In Criminal Law, to indict or formally accuse.

An encumbrance, lien, or claim; a burden or load; an obligation or duty; a liability; an accusation. A person or thing committed to the care of another. The price of, or rate for, something.

A retail store may attach a finance charge to money owed by a customer on a store account.

A charge to the jury is the process whereby a judge addresses the jury before the verdict. During the charge, the judge summarizes the case and gives instructions to the jury concerning such matters as the rules of law that are applicable to various issues in the case.

A public charge is a person who has been made a ward of the state who requires public support due to illness or poverty.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. 1) in a criminal case, the specific statement of what crime the party is accused (charged with) contained in the indictment or criminal complaint. 2) in jury trials, the oral instructions by the judge to the jurors just before the jury begins deliberations. This charge is based on jury instructions submitted by attorneys on both sides and agreed upon by the trial judge. 3) a fee for services.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


1 a formal accusation by the authorities that the accused has committed a specified offence.
2 the price to be paid for goods or services.
3 a form of security over property. In the case of a mortgage, an interest in the mortgaged property is conferred on the mortgagee, providing him with certain rights and powers to enable him to protect his investment: in contrast, in the case of a charge, the chargee acquires rights and powers but not interest. In the case of a charge by way of legal mortgage, the chargee has the same protection, powers and remedies as if a mortgage term by demise or sub-demise were vested in him (see Law of Property Act 1925). A charge maybe fixed or floating: a fixed charge is a charge over a particular asset or property; a floating charge is a charge over the entire assets (from time to time changing) and undertaking of a company. Property subject to a fixed charge may not be disposed of without the consent of the chargee, whereas such consent is not required in the case of a floating charge. A charge may be legal or equitable: a legal charge (which must be created in due form, i.e. by deed) confers legal rights on the chargee that will prevail over allcomers, including a bona fide purchaser of a legal estate for value without notice; an equitable charge (which maybe created informally, as, for example, by the deposit of documents of title) confers rights that prevail over all subsequent interests in the property charged except those of a bona fide purchaser for value of a legal estate for value without notice.
4 the instruction given by a judge to a jury of the law that he considers is applicable to the case. This is so fundamentally important that it is a frequent source of appeals, and as a result judges in many jurisdictions resort to (or are assisted by) standard charges covering the essentials of many common crimes and typical evidential points.
5 in the Scots law of diligence or legal enforcement, a charge is a warning given to a debtor that another form of diligence is soon to be used.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

CHARGE, practice. The opinion expressed by the court to the jury, on the law arising out of a case before them.
     2. It should contain a clear and explicit exposition of the law, when the points of the law in dispute arise out of the facts proved on the trial of the cause; 10 Pet. 657; but the court ought at no time to undertake to decide the facts, for these are to be decided by the jury. 4 Rawle's R. 195; 2 Penna. R. 27; 4 Rawle's R. 356 Id. 100; 2 Serg. & Rawle, 464; 1 Serg. & Rawle, 515; 8 Serg. & Rawle, 150. See 3 Cranch, 298; 6 Pet. 622 1 Gall. R. 53; 5 Cranch, 187; 2 Pet. 625; 9 Pet. 541.

CHARGE, contracts. An obligation entered into by the owner of an estate which makes the estate responsible for its performance. Vide 2 Ball & Beatty, 223; 8 Com. Dig. 306, Appendix, h.t. Any obligation binding upon him who enters into it, which may be removed or taken away by a discharge. T. de la Ley, h.t.
     2. That particular kind of commission which one undertakes to perform for another, in keeping the custody of his goods, is called a charge.

CHARGE. wills, devises. An obligation which a testator imposes on his devisee; as, if the testator give Peter, Blackacre, and direct that he shall pay to John during his life an annuity of one hundred dollars, which shall be a charge" on said land; or if a legacy be and directed to be paid out of the real property. 1 Rop. Leg. 446. Vide 4 Vin. Ab. 449; 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 309; 2 Id. 31; 1 Vern. 45, 411; 1 Swanst. 28; 4 East, R. 501; 4 Ves. jr. 815; Domat, Loix Civ. liv. 3, t. 1, s. 8, n.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
A l'exception de 17 membres du CC qui ont votAaAaAeA@ contre et une seu abstention, tous les autres membres prAaAaAeA@sents se sont prononcAaAaAeA@s la poursuite de la participation du parti AaAaAeA l'actuel gouvernemen tout en chargeant le secrAaAaAeA@taire gAaAaAeA@nAaAaAeA@ral et le Bureau politique du de gAaAaAeA@rer l'AaAaAeA@tape actue
Me Farid el-Dib a rappele que lors du rassemblement de grandes masses dans les differentes places du pays, Moubarak a employe ses pouvoirs constitutionnels, donnant l'ordre d'imposer le couvre-feu et chargeant l'armee de maintenir l'ordre dans le pays.
L'histoire de Rome jusqu'a Auguste, passee pour Virgile, est future pour son heros, qui admire sans bien les comprendre les scenes du bouclier: "Telles sont les merveilles qu'il admire sur le bouclier de Vulcain, don de sa mere, et, sans connaitre ces evenements, il se plait a en voir l'image, chargeant sur son epaule la gloire et les destins de ses arriere-neveux"(31).
Les enquUuo"tes des services de sUu[c]curitUu[c] ont fait ressortir Uo[beaucoup moins que]lae1/4aoimplicationUo[beaucoup plus grand que] de certaines agences de voyages dans le transfert illicite de devises, en chargeant de Uo[beaucoup moins que]fauxUo[beaucoup plus grand que] touristes dae1/4aoacheminer de petites sommes, notamment durant la saison estivale.
Les militants egyptiens denoncent les policiers "arracheurs d'yeux", accusant les forces de l'ordre armees de fusils, tirant notamment des balles en caoutchouc, de viser deliberement les yeux des manifestants et chargeant des francs-tireurs specialistes de cette mission.
Les enquetes des services de securite ont fait ressortir [beaucoup moins que]l'implication[beaucoup plus grand que] de certaines agences de voyages dans le transfert illicite de devises, en chargeant de [beaucoup moins que]faux[beaucoup plus grand que] touristes d'acheminer de petites sommes, notamment durant la saison estivale.
Un autre amendement renforce l'implication de l'agence en la chargeant de chercher des financements pour appuyer les projets mis en place.