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What does it mean to be indicted?

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

What Does It Mean to Be Indicted?

Being indicted is a critical stage in the criminal legal process. But what exactly does it mean when a defendant is indicted, and how does the indictment process work? This article provides an overview of criminal indictments.

Definition of an Indictment

An indictment is a formal criminal charge issued by a grand jury alleging that a person committed a crime. It is the next step after arrest and filing of a criminal complaint. Key points about indictments:

  • Indictments follow grand jury proceedings investigating alleged crimes.
  • They contain the formal charges against the defendant.
  • Indictments move a case closer to trial.
  • Being indicted means prosecutors presented enough evidence for an independent grand jury to charge you.

The Grand Jury Process

Grand juries are groups of citizens who hear evidence presented by prosecutors about potential crimes and decide if charges should be filed. The grand jury process typically involves:

  1. Prosecutors subpoena witnesses and documents relevant to the investigation.
  2. The grand jury hears testimony from witnesses and reviews other evidence.
  3. The prosecutor explains the law and charges being considered.
  4. Grand jurors discuss the case and vote on whether to approve charges.
  5. If the grand jury votes to indict, charges are filed with the court.

Being Indicted vs. Charged

There are some key differences between being indicted versus just criminally charged:

  • A prosecutor can file a criminal complaint and charges without a grand jury.
  • But felonies requiring trial by jury almost always require an indictment by grand jury first.
  • Being indicted indicates an independent body found probable cause you committed the crime.

Next Steps After Indictment

Once indicted, next steps include:

  • You will receive a summons to appear in court for an arraignment.
  • At the arraignment, charges are formally presented and you enter a plea.
  • More preliminary hearings and motions may occur.
  • Your attorney may negotiate with the prosecution regarding potential plea deals.
  • If no plea agreement, case heads to trial.

Challenging an Indictment

There are certain grounds on which your attorney can challenge an indictment, such as:

  • Errors or flaws in the grand jury process
  • Insufficient or inappropriate evidence was presented
  • The evidence doesn’t support finding probable cause for the charges
  • Prosecutorial misconduct influenced the grand jury improperly

However, courts are hesitant to dismiss indictments and will only do so if clear errors undermine the fundamental fairness of the proceedings.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
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Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
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2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Key Takeaways

  • Being indicted means prosecutors presented enough evidence for an independent grand jury to approve criminal charges against you.
  • Indictments move the case to the next stage leading up to trial.
  • Felony charges generally require an indictment before trial.
  • An experienced criminal defense lawyer can advise you on responding to an indictment.

Conclusion

If you have been arrested and are facing serious criminal charges, understanding the indictment process and consulting with a defense attorney is critical. An attorney can analyze the charges, grand jury proceedings, and possible defenses to build the strongest case responding to an indictment.

References

[1] https://www.findlaw.com/criminal/criminal-procedure/what-happens-when-you-are-charged-with-a-crime.html

[2] https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/charged-with-crime-how-29677.html

[3] https://www.justice.gov/usao/justice-101/charging

[4] https://www.federalcharges.com/indicted-federal-charges/

[5] https://guides.sll.texas.gov/c.php?g=440431&p=3016074

[6] https://www.mitty.com/assets/files/academics/10-Master-Key.pdf

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