accusation


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Accusation

A formal criminal charge against a person alleged to have committed an offense punishable by law, which is presented before a court or a magistrate having jurisdiction to inquire into the alleged crime.

The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution provides in part that a person accused of a crime has the right "to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation." Thus in any federal criminal prosecution, the statute setting forth the crime in the accusation must define the offense in sufficiently clear terms so that an average person will be informed of the acts that come within its scope. The charge must also inform the accused in clear and unambiguous language of the offense with which he or she is being charged under the statute. An accused has the same rights when charged with violating state Criminal Law because the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies the guarantees of the Sixth Amendment to the states. The paper in which the accusation is set forth—such as an indictment, information, or a complaint—is called an accusatory instrument.

Most state constitutions contain language similar to that in the Sixth Amendment. In many state rules of Criminal Procedure, the accusatory instrument serves to protect the state constitutional rights of the accused. In Louisiana, for example, the purpose of a bill of information is to inform a defendant of the nature and cause of the accusation against him or her as required by the Louisiana State Constitution (State v. Stevenson, 2003 WL 183998 [La. App. 2003]).

In order to quash a bill of information or other accusatory instrument, the accused must present direct evidence not established by the record, showing the bill was insufficient. The accused generally has the Burden of Proof to demonstrate that the accusatory instrument was insufficient. The rules of evidence in a particular jurisdiction apply to the evidentiary determination of the sufficiency of the accusatory instrument.

Cross-references

Criminal Law.

accusation

n. 1) in legal terms accusation means officially charging someone with a crime either by indictment by a grand jury or filing charges by a District Attorney. 2) in lay terms any claim of wrongdoing by another person.

accusation

noun accusal, accusatio, allegation, assertion, attribution, bill of indictment, charge, citation, crimen, crimination, delation, filing of charges, formal charge, imputation, imputation of blame, incrimination, inculpation, indictment, information, preferring of charges, true bill, true charge
Associated concepts: accusatory instrument, complaint, grand jury report, indictment, information, presentment, warrant
Foreign phrases: Accusare nemo se debet, nisi coram deo.No one is bound to accuse himself, except before God.
See also: arraignment, blame, charge, claim, complaint, condemnation, count, criticism, culpability, denunciation, diatribe, disparagement, impeachment, incrimination, inculpation, indictment, information, innuendo, libel, objurgation, obloquy, onus, outcry, pleading, presentment, reproach, slander, stricture

accusation

a formal charge brought against a person stating the crime that he is alleged to have committed. The term may also be used more loosely to refer to a civil complaint.

ACCUSATION, crim. law. A charge made to a competent officer against one who has committed a crime or misdemeanor, so that he may be brought to justice and punishment.
     2. A neglect to accuse may in some cases be considered a misdemeanor, or misprision. (q.v.) 1 Bro. Civ. Law, 247; 2 Id. 389; Inst. lib. 4, tit. 18.
     3. It is a rule that no man is bound to accuse himself, or to testify against himself in a criminal case. Accusare nemo se debet nisi coram Deo. Vide Evidence; Interest; Witness.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned British Ambassador to Tehran Rob Macaire over the "unacceptable" accusations levelled by London against Tehran.
'Ramon Tulfo's published libelous article containing accusations that I am a corrupt government official and a drug trafficker are false and are but malicious imputations of crimes tending to cause dishonor and to discredit me in my personal and official capacity,' Cam said in the complaint filed June 7.
Seoul prosecutors told AFP on Friday that they had dismissed all of Kim's complaints, saying the actress's sex abuse accusation was only dropped because they were unable to find enough evidence, and there was no proof she was purposefully lying.
At the time of going to press, The Post was unable to obtain the full details of Sok's alleged accusation against Chanrath.
Duterte's latest accusation against David happened earlier this week in Davao City when he also rehashed his accusations against the Catholic Church of making money out of baptisms, burials and masses.
The standard is not "beyond a reasonable doubt." Yet there must be some standard, or else accusation would always mean conviction.
Addressing the media here, Palaniswami asserted that merely making an accusation doesn't make anyone guilty, adding that attempts were being made to malign the image of the 'Amma government'.
Nadra has denied Mr Ali's accusation that data was leaked to any political party and demanded he provide evidence of this claim.
ISLAMABAD -- The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) on Tuesday denied an accusation of a leakage of voters' data for the General Election 2018.
Islamabad -- National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) on Tuesday denied as baseless an accusation of a leakage of voters' data for the general election 2018.
On Wednesday PPP senior leader Maula Bux Chandio in a statement said that PPP demands fair and neutral probe into very dangerous and extremely injurious accusation by Nawaz Sharif.
'This is what they (Opposition) are doing, recycling issues and hurling all kinds of accusation,' he said at the ground-breaking for the Bagan Datuk Mara Junior Science College here today.