Lawes will have to appear before a disciplinary hearing in Auckland, to be chaired by independent judicial officer Terry Willis, from Australia.
The time and date of the hearing will be confirmed later on Monday.
Lawes was cited by match disciplinary commissioner Murray Whyte for his challenge on Ledesma near the end of the first half.
The official RWCL statement reads: "Courtney Lawes (England) has been cited for an alleged breach of Law 10.4(a) punching or striking (with the knee) during the Rugby World Cup 2011 Pool B match against Argentina on September 10."
Lawes will have to leave England's training base in Queenstown to attend the hearing.
England manager Martin Johnson said: "We have received notification of Courtney's citing.
"We will of course provide Rugby World Cup with any information required and attend the hearing as requested.
"There will be no further comment until after the hearing."
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