Quick Answer: How Serious Is An Indictment?

What is the difference between being charged and being indicted?

“Being charged” with a crime means the prosecutor filed charges.

An indictment means the grand jury filed charges against the defendant.

Regardless of how the state moves forth with filing charges, the results are the same for the defendant: an arrest and formal charges..

How long does an indictment last?

An indictment does not expire. There is a statute of limitations for every offense, That is the time in which the State has to file a case. It is a minimum of three years on a felony.

What happens if you get indicted?

After the prosecutor studies the information from investigators and the information they gathers from talking with the individuals involved, the prosecutor decides whether to present the case to the grand jury. When a person is indicted, he is given formal notice that it is believed that he committed a crime.

Can you beat an indictment?

That means that a judge cannot simply overturn the decision of the grand jurors who authorized the indictment. It is the constitutional task of the grand jurors to deliberate and decide on whom to charge.

How serious is a federal indictment?

A federal criminal indictment is a serious matter, because it means that the criminal investigation has progressed to a point where the prosecutor now believes that he or she has enough evidence to convict.

Can you be indicted without knowing?

Finally, and unfortunately, you may have already been charged with a crime and not know it. Federal prosecutors can ask a grand jury to indict you, and then ask a court to seal that indictment. If that happens, you could walk around for days or weeks or months having been charged and not even know it.

How can you find out if someone is indicted?

Call the District Clerk’s Office. Find the county where the offense occurred. Call the district clerk’s office or court’s office for that county and ask for the next court date for the defendant. If the case has not been presented to a grand jury, the clerk may be able to tell you when the next setting is.

Can charges be dropped after an indictment?

A charge can be dropped before or after a charge has been filed. You may need a charge dropped by the prosecutor, or you may need a charge dismissed by the prosecutor, though a court also can dismiss a charge if the prosecutor has made a fundamental legal error in the case.

What is the next step after an indictment?

After a grand jury indictment, a defendant has the opportunity to enter a plea. A guilty plea could lead to a quick sentencing hearing or the imposition of a pre-arranged plea bargain with prosecutors. If a defendant pleads not guilty, the case will move forward to trial.

WHO issues an indictment?

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires that, in the federal system, a felony prosecution begin with an indictment. To obtain an indictment, a prosecutor must present proposed charges to a grand jury – a body of jurors that investigates crimes and decides whether charges should be filed.

What is a felony indictment?

A felony indictment is a statement regarding a felony crime that is usually read before a judge at a hearing, which is sometimes called a felony arraignment on the indictment. … The purpose of a felony indictment is to inform you of the charges so that your legal counsel can prepare a defense.

Does indictment mean jail time?

Indicted means that formal charges have been filed and the court process will begin. On such a serious charge (minimum 10 years in prison if convicted) I would assume you already have a lawyer.

How much evidence is needed for an indictment?

In order to be convicted of a crime, the state must convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed a crime; essentially a greater than 99% chance you committed the crime. Probable cause falls below the preponderance of the evidence standard, which is a greater than 50% chance that someone did something.

What happens if you are not indicted?

If the grand jury decides not to indict, it returns a “no bill.” However, even if a grand jury doesn’t indict, the prosecutor can return to the same grand jury and present additional evidence, get a new grand jury, or even file criminal charges regardless.

How long after indictment does arraignment happen?

Within 10 daysArraignment — Within 10 days from the time an Indictment or Information has been filed and arrest has been made, an Arraignment must take place before a Magistrate Judge. During an Arraignment, the accused, now called the defendant, is read the charges against him or her and advised of his or her rights.