prefer against

prefer charges against (one)

To file an official legal charge against one; to accuse one of some crime. Used in formal legal language. The woman was given the chance to prefer charges against the man, but she declined. The state will be preferring charges against the company for treason.
See also: charge, prefer
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

prefer something against someone

to file legal charges against someone [with the police]; to file a complaint or a charge against someone. The neighbors preferred charges against the driver of the car who ruined their lawns. I will not prefer charges against the driver, since it was partly my fault.
See also: prefer
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Further, in obvious cases, such as where it is evident that a spouse has chopped off the head of the other using a panga, then even when the postmortem exam fails to establish cause of death, the prosecution will still prefer murder charges against the accused.Ms Mwaniki elaborated on these scenarios on Monday before Justice Luka Kimaru while explaining the various leads the police are looking into before deciding on what charges to prefer against Dr Fredrick Ogola, a Strathmore University lecturer who was arrested on January 1 in connection with the death of his wife, Margaret Gobi Mwachongo, at their Lavington home, Nairobi, on December 31.