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.
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.