The Georgia Defender, p. 1 (September 2001).


An indictment is an accusatory instrument, returned by a grand jury, formally charging a defendant with a crime. An information is also an accusatory instrument which formally charges a defendant with crime, but it is brought by a prosecutor without the intervention of a grand jury. At common law a criminal defendant had a right to indictment on the charge before he could be tried for a felony. At common law there was no right to indictment for misdemeanors, which could be prosecuted without an indictment on the basis of an information. In Georgia, an information is known as an accusation.