What is an indictment from a grand jury?
A charge given by a grand jury is called the “indictment.” A grand jury is a group of 12 people considered to be average Americans that are selected at random, their job is to determine if there is sufficient evidence to charge a person suspected of committing a specific crime. The indictment handed down by the grand jury ensures that the case will only be brought to trial if there is probable cause to support the suspicion that the accused did indeed commit the crime.
The suspect and the suspect’s criminal lawyer in Pottstown PA are not present during testimony to the grand jury, resulting in the inability of the lawyer to present any evidence he may have in the contrary. The prosecutor may allow the suspect to make testimony in front of the grand jury in certain cases.
The grand jury system was used for many years in countries that practiced common law, the law used in such countries as the US, Canada, England and Australia. In modern times, the grand jury system is only being used in the US and then not in every state and for every criminal offense. The grand jury is called upon if federal charges are brought in a criminal case.
When grand juries are called, their job is to determine if sufficient evidence exists to effectively take the suspect to trial. The proceeding s are done behind closed doors, the prosecutor presents his evidence to the jury in the form of witness testimony. The prosecutor is free to subpoena anyone to provide testimony without proving to anyone that the witness has any information which can be considered relevant. Not everyone has to appear and give testimony in front of the grand jury, the spouse of the accused and the criminal lawyer in Pottstown PA who is the representative of the accused can get special dispensation or claim a specific privilege.
If the grand jury finds that there is sufficient evidence to go to trial they issue their decision. When this occurs, the suspect is charged with having committed the crime. If the jury fine they cannot offer a true bill then there is not enough evidence to proceed to trial.
David T. Schnarrs, Attorney at Law provides effective criminal defense service if you have been charged with a crime in Pottstown PA.