Only offenses of a certain seriousness require indictments. When committing capital or notorious crime, the United States Constitution requires an indictment as per the Fifth Amendment. If a crime meets the criteria of a felony or treason, it may be considered “infamous.”
If the prosecutor believes they have enough evidence to convict the defendant, they will typically issue an indictment. The accused need not necessarily go to jail even if indicted, as they may be found not guilty at trial.
When Is a Grand Jury Indictment Required?
States are not required to use grand juries when filing criminal charges. Almost all do, although only federal courts must employ grand juries in all felony trials. After being indicted, an accused person can retain private legal counsel or accept a public defender. A public defender is an attorney appointed by the state to represent an accused criminal.
The accused person’s lawyer will brief them on the case details and the law in general. The prosecutor will argue for the prosecution, while the defense attorney will defend the accused.
How Does An Indictment Happen?
A Grand Jury is convened before criminal charges are filed to determine whether to file formal charges against the suspect. The prosecutor will present the Grand Jury with the evidence they believe proves your guilt in a miniature evidentiary session. Suppose you are summoned to appear before the Grand Jury. In that case, you will not be allowed to bring a lawyer because the proceedings are confidential.
However, suppose you have any concerns about nature of the questions asked. In that case, you can consult with an attorney outside the room. Thus, a defendant pleading the Fifth Amendment is typical at Grand Jury proceedings.
How Long Does a Grand Jury Have to Indict Someone?
The average time it takes a federal grand jury to decide whether to indict is 18 months from when it was empaneled. If they need more time to make a call, they can ask for it. Typically, extensions are allowed for up to six months. However, in big districts or those coping with high crime rates, grand juries might request and get amendments for as prolonged as a second 18-month period.
When it comes to state government, there is a wide range of options for how long a grand jury can be appointed. Jurors may be required to serve anywhere from a few weeks to an entire year, with the exact length of time varying by state.
What happens after Grand Jury Indictment?
Following a grand jury indictment, an individual facing charges will have the opportunity to enter a plea. The accused will be brought before a judge for an arraignment, during which the indictment will be read aloud. This procedure cannot be waived or accelerated.
At the arraignment, the accused will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If bail has not already been established, it will be set at this time, and the accused will be remanded to the custody of the sheriff’s department.
If you’ve been indicted, an evidentiary hearing has already been held before the Grand Jury so you won’t get a chance at a preliminary hearing. Instead, a trial date will be selected, and evidence will be available to your attorney. After that, you can meet with the DA to discuss a possible plea bargain or start getting ready for trial.
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Those who have committed a felony penalized by more than a year in jail or death may be indicted. An indictment for a felony usually begins with the formal filing of charges. It concludes with the final charges being filed against the offender at trial.
When the prosecution formally accuses someone of committing a crime by filing a direct charge in court, it is called an indictment. The next step is for a judge or a grand jury to issue an indictment by stating their decision that criminal activity has occurred; the accused should be brought to trial. You can always check if you have an Indictment.
The accused (defendant) will be notified of the preliminary hearing date. Subpoenas are issued to victims and witnesses to compel their attendance at the preliminary hearing, where they will either testify or provide evidence.
What happens after a felony indictment?
There are different prerequisites to charge someone with a crime, and the Crimes Act Law mandates that everyone charged with a crime be investigated by a grand jury. Therefore the felony process begins differently from the misdemeanor procedure.
Do I have to stay in jail after a Grand Jury Indictment?
It all boils down to the specifics of your situation and the nature of your criminal accusations. Like everyone else who has been arrested for a crime, you have the right to a bond hearing. The prosecution may plead against your jail release based on your criminal record and the nature of the charges against you.
Sometimes, your attorney can negotiate a deal with the prosecution that will result in your release from jail. You may sometimes be eligible for home detention with GPS monitoring. If you are granted bail, the judge may set different conditions.
Judges may set bonds based on several factors, including the nature of the allegations against the defendant, the prosecutor’s request, the defendant’s criminal record, the defendant’s links to the community, and the defendant’s perceived risk of flight.
The decision to release you on bond, awaiting the outcome of your criminal case, rests solely with the judge.
What is the Indictment Process in Texas?
An arrest and filing of accusations or an official indictment can initiate the indictment process in Texas. The indictment process for a criminal suspect is both complex and straightforward.
If someone is suspected of a felony, the prosecution will present evidence to a grand jury for a decision. Grand jurors can question witnesses and request additional evidence from the prosecutor before indicting the defendant.
When there is enough evidence to show probable cause of guilt, the prosecution can obtain an indictment if, at most, 9 of the 12 grand jurors decide to indict the accused. For the prosecutor to get an indictment, there must be unanimous support from at least nine grand jury members.
For this reason, it is crucial to consult with an experienced criminal attorney about your specific situation. When you hire a lawyer in Texas, they will walk you through the steps of an indictment and do all in their power to keep you from facing criminal charges.
Does indictment mean Jail time?
Just because you’ve been indicted doesn’t mean you’ll automatically go to jail. For the prosecution to secure an indictment against you must first persuade a grand jury that you have sufficient evidence to proceed with a criminal case. In a criminal trial, you can still enter a “not guilty” plea and contest the charges against you.
If a grand jury indicts you, you may be issued an arrest warrant and bond at your first court appearance. If a bond is established, you and your family can post the bond at any time before case is resolved.
Can an Indictment Be Dismissed?
After a grand jury has handed down an indictment, it is highly unusual for a prosecutor to drop the charges. Criminal charges are rarely dropped without the indicted party first appearing in court, But you can go in detail guide of Can Charges Be Dropped After Indictment?
Grand jury dismissals are more common and can occur at any time before an accusation is issued. A “no-bill” occurs when a grand jury declines to indict an individual. There are a variety of factors that might be dismissed by a grand jury, such as:
Reasons, why a grand jury might not indict a suspect include:
- lack of evidence
- wrongdoing on the part of prosecutors or police
- lack of confidence in the viability of the prosecution’s case
- the defendant’s readiness to help in another criminal case.
What happens when the Feds indict you?
Unless the accused renounces his right to a speedy trial, a trial must begin within 75 days of the accusation being served. All documentation against the accused that can be utilized must be disclosed in discovery to the defendant’s lawyers.
What’s the difference between being indicted and charged?
An indictment is a document that details the criminal charges brought against you as a result of a grand jury investigation. When a prosecution files criminal accusations against you, this is referred to as a “charge.”
How long after being charged does it take to go to court?
In most cases, if you are arrested and taken into police custody, you will be brought before a magistrate’s courtroom the following day unless it is a Sunday. You will have to wait until Monday for your court date.
What causes a federal indictment?
The Grand Jury will vote to indict if they have probable cause to suspect a crime was conducted and the accused perpetrated it. The United States Attorney’s Office drafts and submits the filing. A criminal case cannot proceed unless an indictment is submitted to the court.
What happens after an indictment?
When someone is indicted, they go on trial, and their guilt or innocence is determined based on the evidence presented against them.
Hi, I’m Brian Gary; I have my Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree from SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas. Over the years, I have dealt with many families and successful corporate Legal cases. I have counseled many people on legal matters, and along with my profession, I write about Law on my blog. Please feel free to contact me for counseling/case discussion; I’ll be happy to help you.