Lord Hanningfield has been charged with false accounting in relation to allegations of expenses fraud, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
The CPS announced that the former Tory council leader has been charged in connection with claims he submitted for daily allowance at the House of Lords.
It is alleged that on or about July 30 2013, in "furnishing information for the purpose of making a daily allowance claim", he dishonestly and with a view to gain for himself or with intent to cause loss to another, produced or made use of a document required for an accounting purpose, namely a "daily allowance and/or travel expenses" claim form.
Lord Hanningfield will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on October 29 2015.
The peer is "very disappointed" by the decision to prosecute, his lawyer, Daniel Godden, said.
The allegations surround dates where he spent between 28 and 38 minutes at the House of Lords.
Mr Godden said: "We will be fighting this charge all the way. My client is very disappointed that the CPS is pursuing any offence in respect of his claim for expenses.
"He has co-operated with the police inquiry into his expenses and has always maintained that he conducted parliamentary work both prior to, and after, attending the House on the requisite dates in July 2013.
"Any day where he left the House after a short amount of time was linked to his continuing ill health, which was documented in evidence given to the Scotland Yard inquiry."