information n: an instrument containing a formal accusation of a crime that is issued by a prosecuting officer and that serves the same function as an indictment presented by a grand jury compare complaint , indictment NOTE: About half the states in the United States allow prosecutors to issue informations. The rest require indictment.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.