going up on charges

< Previous | Next >


-- I'm reporting you to the FCC, the Human Experimentation Board, the AMI, and the police. You are going up on charges, to court, to jail, and then to a mental institution for the rest of your twisted little life.
Batman Forever, movie

Explain please the part in blue. Does it contain a phrasal verb? If not, what does "up" mean? Thank you.
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "To be brought up on charges" is an idiom meaning "to be formally accused of a crime or other infraction"; the "up" is part of the idiom and no longer has any obvious meaning. In your example the speaker modifies the phrase a bit, using "going" to introduce four separate "destinations" (up on charges, to court, to jail, to a mental institution).

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I don't recognise this expression. In British English you typically "go down" to prison. A judge may well say "I am sending you down for five years".

    This expresses several ideas:
    The judge and the courts are a 'high' authority.
    Prison is as low as most would want to be.
    The cells are typically in the basement of the court building.​


    Senior Member
    English - USA
    In British English you typically "go down" to prison.
    Interesting - in AmE to go "up the river" is an idiom meaning to go to prison (I believe the phrase originally referred to Sing Sing, which is up the Hudson River from New York.)
    < Previous | Next >