laying an information

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Giving a magistrate a concise statement (an information), verbally or in writing, of an alleged offence and the suspected offender, so that he can take steps to obtain the appearance of the suspect in court. Information can be laid by any member of the public, although it is usually done by the police. If an arrest warrant is required, the information must be in writing and on oath. Objections cannot normally be made to information laid, on the grounds of formal defects or discrepancies between it and the prosecution's subsequent evidence. But if the defect is fundamental to the charge the information will be dismissed, and if the defendant was misled by a discrepancy, he may be granted an adjournment of the trial.

Subjects: Law.

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