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  1. In criminal cases, a charge is a formal accusation of criminal activity. The prosecuting attorney decides on the charges, after reviewing police reports, witness statements, and any other evidence of wrongdoing. Formal charges are announced at an arrested person's arraignment. For example, X was charged with murder.
  2. In jury trials, a charge is the instruction given by a judge to a jury regarding the law, its application, and the weighing of evidence.
  3. A charge may be a financial burden or an encumbrance, lien or claim. For example, a charge on property.
  4. A charge is also a fee for services.

[Last updated in February of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]