You may have seen the word “indictment” a time or two before. You might have seen it as part of a front-page newspaper headline or on the local news, but do you actually know what an indictment is or what it means?
Indictments Used for Federal Crimes
An indictment is basically a formal accusation of a crime. They are especially used for federal crimes and used less at the state level. This is because the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires a person to be charged with a capital punishment by presentment or indictment by a grand jury.
This amendment does not apply to state courts though it is still an option. Use of a grand jury is also optional for state courts.
When it comes to indictments, a prosecutor will be required to present the case to a grand jury (16 to 23 members) and they will decide whether there is enough evidence to charge the accused with a crime. All it takes are 12 members to believe the evidence is sufficient.
A grand jury proceeding is different from a trial in that the accused’s criminal defense attorney is not present to question witnesses. Still, that does not mean you should forgo hiring an attorney if you are facing an indictment or other criminal charges.
Attorney in Atlantic City Can Help You
When it comes to an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney, you need John W. Tumelty. The New Jersey attorney has over 30 years of experience helping clients fight criminal charges.
From something minor like a juvenile offense to crimes like homicide and weapons offenses, Mr. Tumelty has handled it all. You can rely on him to build you a strong defense.
In order to begin discussing your case, fill out the online contact form.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.