Information

A formal accusation by a government attorney that the defendant committed a misdemeanor.

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Additional Sources

Answers.com

A formal accusation of a crime made by a public officer rather than by grand jury indictment.

FindLaw

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.

Law.com Dictionary

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.

Legal-Dictionary.org

A sworn accusation of a crime signed by a public officer such as prosecutor that serves the same function as indictment.

The Free (Legal) Dictionary

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.