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The formal accusation of a criminal offense made by a public official; the sworn, written accusation of a crime.

An information is tantamount to an indictment in that it is a sworn written statement which charges that a particular individual has done some criminal act or is guilty of some criminal omission. The distinguishing characteristic between an information and an indictment is that an indictment is presented by a Grand Jury, whereas an information is presented by a duly authorized public official.

The purpose of an information is to inform the accused of the charge against him, so that the accused will have an opportunity to prepare a defense.


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: grand jury, indictment, charge, preliminary hearing, accusation, felony)


in English criminal procedure, the statement informing a magistrate of the offence in respect of which a warrant or summons is sought.

INFORMATION. An accusation or complaint made in writing to a court of competent jurisdiction, charging some person with a specific violation of some public law. It differs in nothing from an indictment in its form and substance, except that it is filed at the discretion of the proper law officer of the government, ex officio, without the intervention or approval of a grand jury. 4 Bl. Com. 308, 9.
     2. In the French law, the term information is used to signify the act or instrument which contains the depositions of witnesses against the accused. Poth. Proc. Cr. sect. 2, art. 5.
     3. Informations have for their object either to punish a crime or misdemeanor, and these have,.perhaps, never been resorted to in the United States or to recover penalties or forfeitures, which are quite common. For the form and requisites of an information for a penalty, see 2 Chit. Pr. 155 to 171. Vide Blake's Ch. 49; 14 Vin. Ab. 407; 3 Story, Constitution, Sec. 1780 3 Bl. Com. 261.
     4. In summary proceedings before justices of the peace, the complaint or accusation, at least when the proceedings relate to a penalty, is called an information, and it is then taken down in writing and sworn to. As the object is to limit the informer to a certain charge, in order that the defendant may know what he has to defend, and the justice may limit the evidence and his subsequent adjudication to the allegations in the information, it follows that the substance of the particular complaint must be stated and it must be sufficiently formal to contain all material averments. 8 T. R. 286; 5 Barn. & Cres. 251; 11 E. C. L. R. 217; 2 Chit. Pr. 156. See 1 Wheat. R. 9.

References in periodicals archive ?
Overall the effect of the informative prior on joint posteriors was to shift the kernel of contour plot to r values close to 0.5 and to k values lower than 1,500,000 ton when analyzing datasets that convey information (S4, S5 and S6).
Sections 3 deals with the posterior distributions using non-informative priors while Section 4 elaborates the posterior distributions using informative priors Section 5 explains the prior predictive distribution using informative prior.
During Doug's informative and fun lectures, magicians of all levels will be able to watch, learn, and practice everything from magical effects to various scientific theories and how they apply to the professional world of magic.
They found a surprising amount of variability: the parents who provided the highest rate of highly informative examples did so 38 percent of the time, while those who provided the lowest rate did so only 4 percent of the time.
The following section of the paper describes results of algorithm development for selection of informative attributes by functions of correlation of times series.
In other words, they are making "informative hypotheses." This work introduces the statistical evaluation of informative hypotheses for use in the social sciences.
The graphics are informative without being offensive; pictures of the friends are cute and appealing, giving a fresh lightheartedness to the book.
This study provides a Bayesian analysis of the time-to-failure model using informative (Gamma) and uninformative (Jeffreys) priors.
An informative mosaic figure of suffragette and social revolutionist Mary Bamber can also be spotted on St George's Plateau.
Perhaps a hunting trip to Hawaii would be informative also.
There was nothing new in his second letter; he merely repeated their scare mongering from their original letters - hardly informative as he claims.
Demand for enterprise content management (ECM) solutions that provide secure document viewing and collaboration continues to fuel growth for Informative Graphics as organizations's concerns around information security and privacy protection increase.

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